"The trip I've taken this year, I never thought I'd be here, There were times I was questioning whether my career was over," Ross said with a smile that brightened the interview room. "I'm playing in the World Series, so just this whole skit is just — I'm up here talking to you guys. This is pretty cool, right?"
Now 36 and in his 12th big league season, Ross's sandy-colored beard makes him look more aging rocker than dashing athlete. A veteran of six major league organizations, he signed last November for his second tour with the Red Sox, his team for part of 2008.
Ross had never seen himself in the Series spotlight.
"I'm kind of more of a keep-my-head-down-and-work-hard kind of guy," he said, "I'm not the type of player who can plan out all these goals. That's probably why it hadn't sunk in yet of what all this is, because I'm worried about Game 6 already. There's a pit in my stomach already."
After it was over, already showered and dressed for the flight home, he was given a televised postgame news conference. He called it "the signature moment" of his career.
"I'm just in awe of being in the World Series, really," he said, turning around to look at the MLB logos on the backdrop behind him, as if he wasn't quite sure they were real.
"That's when you see people on TV," he said excitedly. "I'm stoked!"
Ross had answered questions for 14 minutes, yet he still didn't want to leave the room.
"Jon Lester is waiting to come in," announced Phyllis Merhige, an MLB senior vice president. "You can stay as long as you like."
"Can I sit up here while he's up here?" Ross asked.
And so he did, alongside Lester and David Ortiz, savoring the night of his career just a little bit longer.