D-Backs Cody Ross isn’t clowning around
February 20, 4:00 pm
By Jourdan Rodrigue
Cody Ross dreamed of another career before baseball – rodeo clowning. (Photo by Mary Kate Lau)
Outfielder Cody Ross has a reputation for getting his hands dirty.
The Diamondbacks signed the versatile Ross in December partially because he’s solid at any outfield position and at bat. He bats left, throws right and hit .267 with 22 homers and 81 runs batted in last year with the Red Sox even though he was out for a few weeks with an ankle injury.
His nose-to-the-grindstone mentality earned him the nickname “Dirtbag,” an affectionate term Bostonians used to describe Ross’s down-and-dirty work ethic.
“Last year was the first time I’d heard that, it’s sort of a big thing in Boston to call somebody that—it means they’re gritty, hard-nosed players,” said Ross. “I’ve always had to prove myself and prove others wrong because I’m not a big guy, I’m not the best player, but I have a lot of heart.”
But what many don’t know is how close to the dirt Ross actually got. The 32-year-old was raised by his team-roping, steer-wrestling father on the rodeo scene and as a child dreamed of becoming a rodeo clown.
“Those guys are heroes. They save cowboys’ lives and I have a lot of respect for them,” he said. “They work hard. It’s fun to really sit down and watch them work; it’s very impressive. It’s not just a painted face and baggy clothes, it’s real work.”
Though he’s in a very different profession now, Ross thinks there are some parallels between the two jobs.
“They’re constantly on the road, they have to stay in shape,” he said. “Their careers are short just like ours and there’s a lot of injury.”
And though he’s scooping up dirt instead of being trampled in it, Ross still remembers his rodeo days fondly.
“I loved it,” he said. “It was just a blast. I still love it to this day and I still go to the National Rodeo Conference in Vegas. I support all those guys, I think they’re great athletes, and though I wanted to go down that road I now am glad I didn’t because it’s a tough one.”
Post Author: Jourdan Rodrigue .
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