Cubs

Cubs honor 'Grandpa Rossy' with emotional pregame ceremony

Cubs honor 'Grandpa Rossy' with emotional pregame ceremony

The Cubs surprised David Ross with a pregame ceremony Friday afternoon, delivering an emotional moment that had him still fighting back tears almost four hours later.

[RELATED - Montero plays psychologist to get the most out of Arrieta]

The Cubs played a tribute on the video board, complete with testimony from players like Jon Lester. The video also featured some of Ross' top highlights from throughout his career, including winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox.

Ross' entire family was also in attendance, catching "Grandpa Rossy" completely off guard.

"I went out to play catch and everybody was getting ready for the game and I look in the dugout - I thought I was missing something," Ross said. "Nobody told me about something. And then the video started and I was like, 'Oh no.'

"I wanted to get in the dugout and kinda hide. I felt a little embarrassed. But super nice things the guys said, a real emotional moment for me. It was nice to have my family there."

As Ross embraces the twilight of his career, the Cubs also gifted him a jersey, a No. 3 square from the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard and the home plate from Great American Ballpark, where Ross caught Jake Arrieta's no-hitter in April.

Ross already had a No. 3 square from Fenway Park and hopes to get all his Cubs teammates to sign his from Wrigley.

"I don't even have the words for what that means," Ross said. "My teammates to say those things and the warm hugs from the guys ... I really don't have words. It's kinda overwhelming emotionally."

With Ross not playing in Friday's game, Anthony Rizzo paid homage to the veteran catcher by taking "Forever Young" as his first walk-up song:

"How 'bout that?" Ross said. "I was like, 'we need to focus on winning and I'm like gonna cry every 30 seconds. I just kept waiting for him to get out and him blame my song. Good thing he got a hit and got it started off the right way."

Where does it all rank among his top baseball memories?

"I've had so many," Ross said. "I keep getting that question this year and I keep having another one at the top. This is up there.

"When you're a guy that's a backup catcher and kind of a journeyman and been on a bunch of different teams, just trying to find your way through the major leagues and doing the best you can and you get a moment like that, it's pretty cool."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: If Cubs somehow miss the playoffs will Joe Maddon's seat start heating up?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: If Cubs somehow miss the playoffs will Joe Maddon's seat start heating up?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Friedell (ESPN.com) and Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times) join David Kaplan on the panel.

The guys discuss Welington Castillo’s 80-game PED suspension, the Cubs struggles and if Joe Maddon could be on the hot seat if the Cubs somehow miss the playoffs in 2018.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: