- DAVID ROSS
Ross is a recently retired, two-time World Series champ who is most recognized for his recent 2016 win with the Chicago Cubs, breaking their 108-year dry spell.
Ross was born in Bainbridge, Georgia but went to highschool at Florida High School where he played on their baseball team. In 1995, he was drafted by the L.A. Dodgers but chose to attended Auburn University instead of signing with them. In the 1998 draft, the Dodgers selected Ross again, and this time he signed with them. From here, he played two years with the Dodgers before bouncing around with six different teams from 2005-2015, ending up with the Cubs. In Ross’ final season, after having already played 15, he helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series, becoming the oldest player to hit a home run in World Series history.
Since his retirement last season, Ross has found a new hobby, becoming one of the contestants competing on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars. “Grandpa Rossy” is the first pro baseball player to ever compete on the show.
- DAVID ORTIZ
The Dominican legend, lovingly referred to as “Big Papi”, is one of the most dangerous power hitters of his generation.
Ortiz was a standout at Estudia Espaillat High School in his native Dominican Republic and signed an amateur contract with the Seattle Mariners at the tender age of 17. When he first came stateside as a member of the Mariners organization, he was known as David Arias, his maternal last name. After three seasons in Seattle’s system, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins, where be began going by David Ortiz, his paternal last name. After spending almost a full season in the Twins’ farm system, Ortiz made his MLB debut in 1997. After six up-and-down seasons in Minnesota, Ortiz was released from his contract. He signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2003 and the rest is history. Big Papi helped break the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, and led the team to World Series titles again in 2007 and 2013, before announcing he would retire following the 2016 campaign. He finished his career with ten All-Star nods, an A.L. MVP, and seven Silver Slugger awards to his name. Possibly the best DH to ever play, Ortiz has a good chance of going to Cooperstown once he is eligible in 2021.
Since Ortiz’s career ended six months ago, he has spent most of his time on philanthropy. He runs the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which was founded in 2007, and has also recently been a brand ambassador for UNICEF’s Kid Power Champion mission in Burkina.