Ross set to bid Los Angeles farewell

Veteran catcher began career with Dodgers, will play there for final time this weekend

Ross set to bid Los Angeles farewell

SAN DIEGO -- David Ross will say goodbye to where he started his professional baseball career this weekend.

The farewell tour for the 39-year-old catcher, who is retiring after this season, will be in Los Angeles this weekend when the Cubs play the Dodgers in a three-game series, starting Friday. Ross was the Dodgers' seventh-round pick in the 1998 Draft, and he made his Major League debut on June 29, 2002.

Ross has made the most of his final season. He caught Jake Arrieta's no-hitter in April, hit his 100th career home run, has played golf at Pebble Beach and spent Tuesday with a beluga whale at Sea World in San Diego.

With Ross at Dodger Stadium for the last time as a player, it may finally hit him that this is it. He will catch Jon Lester on Sunday in the series finale.

"This is where it all started," Ross said of his time with the Dodgers from 2002-04. "I've got a lot of friends who are still there who have seen me grow up. It's fun to talk to them. [Manager] Dave Roberts is a special friend of mine. The whole thing -- the organization, how I was brought up -- [the Dodgers] taught me the game."

That includes former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

"You feel like he's your baseball dad," Ross said, remembering the speeches Lasorda would give to the Dodgers' Minor Leaguers.

Ross expects to do more than remember games he played there.

"Every time I've gone back there, I get a couple fans who still remember me, which is cool," Ross said. "There's a lady, Jo, who brings me brownies every time. She'll be right by the dugout during batting practice."

Ross has sent Roberts, who was a former teammate, a text message, saying the catcher is going to crash the manager's media session. The Cubs are presenting legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully with a gift, and Ross will deliver that on Friday.

It will be tough to say goodbye.

"This is going to be the one [when it hits]," Ross said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.