David Ross has ball from final World Series out: ‘Whoever wants it can have it’
|10.31.13 at 4:19 am ET|
Sometimes, an out is an out. That time was not in the late hours of Wednesday night.
Catcher David Ross did not merely want Koji Uehara to retire Matt Carpenter to close out the World Series. The veteran, who emerged as the team’s primary catching option during the World Series, wanted a strikeout, which would offer the opportunity to be at the epicenter of the Red Sox‘ first home World Series celebration in 95 years.
It wasn’t easy, but after Carpenter fouled off three straight pitches, Uehara finally put him away with a splitter off the plate for the final out of a 6-1, mayhem-inducing victory over the Cardinals.
“I was hoping he’d punch him out. We have so much faith in Koji and what he does. That guy is a stud, I wanted him to get that last strikeout so bad,” said Ross. “He did and all I could do was thank the Lord for being there, run and go let him jump in my arms.”
That Uehara punched out Carpenter came with an intriguing offshoot. The ball that secured a championship stayed in Ross’ glove and possession, making him — like Doug Mientkiewicz and Jonathan Papelbon before him — the curator of a critical historical artifact. Yet Ross hardly seems intent on taking the precious item and defecting with it to a foreign land. The avuncular catcher was nothing short of magnanimous in articulating his plans for it.
“It’s in my locker. Whoever wants it can have it — owner, manager, Koji, whoever wants it can have it,” said Ross. “I’ve got a world championship to put in my back pocket.”
For a 36-year-old career backup who had never played beyond the Division Series round in his first 11 big league seasons, the title mattered more than any souvenirs.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I’m just enjoying this with my teammates. It hasn’t sunk in.”
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