Ross hit a home run in Game 7 of the World Series to help the Cubs win their first title since 1908. Ross said he would retire before the season began, and per Elias, he’ll be the first player to hit a home run in a World Series winner-take-all-game and never play again.
At 39, Ross is the oldest player to hit a home run in a winner-take-all World Series game, the second-oldest player to hit his first World Series home run (Hall of Famer Johnny Mize beat him by 42 days), the oldest catcher to hit a World Series home run (surpassing Hall of Fame Yankees Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra) and the oldest player to homer in a World Series since 39-year-old Eddie Murray for the 1995 Indians.
The best player who ended his career by playing in a game that won the World Series is baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, who retired after the 1951 season. The Yankees beat the Giants in six games to win that World Series.
Two other Hall of Famers have ended their careers with a World Series win: Mize (1953 Yankees) and Eddie Mathews (1968 Tigers). The latter was far better known for his career with the Braves, with whom he won a World Series in 1957. Among other notable players are two 300-homer hitters who played for the 1999 Yankees: Darryl Strawberry (who had health issues) and Chili Davis.
The list of notables whose careers ended with a World Series loss is actually far longer: Pedro Martinez (2009 Phillies), Willie Mays (1973 Mets), Sandy Koufax (1966 Dodgers) and Jackie Robinson (1956 Dodgers). Robinson’s career ended with him trying (and failing) to beat a throw to first base on a mishandled strikeout in Game 7 against the Yankees. He retired after being traded by the Dodgers to the rival Giants.
Ross beats all those guys in that he got to play in one of the greatest games in major league history.