by Mike Magers
Cody Ross grew up in Carlsbad, Eddy County, New Mexico where he was a great baseball player for coach Thomas Forni. He was drafted to play Major League Baseball right out of high school. Many players go their whole careers and don’t get to experience playing in a World Series game, but Carlsbad rejoiced and declared a Cody Ross Day when Cody not only played in the series but was a member of the winning San Francisco Giants team when they took the series in 2010.
The Giants had been in San Francisco for 53 years since moving from New York with many Hall of Fame caliber players passing through the club without a World Series title. They took a good Texas Rangers team with a pitching staff that included Cliff Lee to five games. Game one was a slugfest with the Giants winning 11-7. After that, the Rangers’ bats went almost silent. Josh Hamilton was 2-20, Vladimir Guerrero was 1-14 and Elvis Andrus was 3-17 and the Rangers put together over 18 innings without scoring a run. In game 5, the Rangers’ Cliff Lee had pitched 6 scoreless innings, matched by the Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum. In the top of the 7th, Cody Ross and Juan Uribe managed back to back singles followed by Aubrey Huff’s sacrifice bunt, the first bunt of his entire career, leaving runners at second and third with one out. Next up was Pat Burrell who struck out. Edgar Renteria came up and stroked a 2-0 slider out of the park to make it 3-0. The Rangers would add a run, but the three run seventh inning is all that it would take to allow the Giants with the Series. Ross scored the first of the three runs.
Cody had named as a Baseball America All-American in 1999 while playing for the Carlsbad Cavemen. Detroit selected him in the fourth round of the amateur draft and he began toiling in the minor leagues. He did it the hard way but some would say the right way, working up through the Rookie League, A, A+, AA and AAA ball before breaking into the big leagues in 2003. In all, Cody played a total of 17 seasons at all levels, with service in Major League clubs for 12 of them. During his big league career, Cody played for Detroit, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati, Florida, San Francisco, Boston, Arizona and Oakland.
In 1,073 games, Cody accumulated 904 hits in 3,453 at bats, cranking out 153 home runs and 508 runs batted in against 800 strikeouts. His lifetime batting average was .262, in most years while playing as a position player. A majority of the clubs he played for were National League teams which don’t use the designated hitter, but he batted a few times as a DH during his three American League seasons. He was generally used as an outfielder on defense, usually playing right field. He made his final appearance in a game May 1, 2015 with the Oakland As, but owns a World Series ring and some unforgettable memories.
Cody now resides in Arizona with his family. He was named to the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in its 2016 class.