Donors to the American Red Cross for Central Illinois can check "dining with a World Series champion" off their bucket list.
Retired Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross spoke at the Marriott Hotel in Uptown Normal Tuesday night for the 24th annual "Evening With Stars" event. More than 1,000 people got to hear Ross' perspective of Game 7 of the World Series.
Ross said he is beyond grateful for his life in professional baseball. He said one of the most difficult parts of being a major league baseball player is being away from family.
"It's a tough life," said Ross. "At some point, I get to live my dream, and my family has allowed me to live my dream, and at some point it's time to stop being selfish and be a part of that [the family]."
Ross, nicknamed "Grandpa Rossy", is the oldest player to homer in Game 7 of the World Series.
He took the audience on a nostalgic journey through his career in baseball and discussed his mindset during the Series. Ross went full-force in making fun of himself, joking about walking off the field in the middle of Game 7 and retiring on the spot when moments became intense. He expressed gratitude for the Cubs and shared humorous memories with Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist.
Ross said he cannot understand how he is so lucky.
"What's going on? A plan to retire, I catch a no-hitter, the standing ovations at Wrigley," said Ross as he quickly flips through his thoughts. "And play the last World Series game at Wrigley Field of my career, win Game 7, hit a home run. All these things, my teammates carrying me off my feet...I don't even know who I am anymore at this point, you know?"
The American Red Cross for Central Illinois is celebrating its 100th year. Last year, "Evening With Stars" raised $35,000 for the organization. Illinois State University President Larry Dietz and First Lady Marlene Dietz are Co Chairs for the Red Cross.
"We're looking forward to raising a lot of money for a really terrific cause," said President Dietz. "We're just delighted to be here."
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