At the age of 32 and with nine seasons for under his belt, new Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross is a Major League veteran. And having worn six different uniforms during those nine years, you could say he's well-traveled and gained some valuable experience -- experience that could come in handy for the other young outfielders in Adam Eaton, Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock.
"You know in the past, I'll be vocal but for the most part I'll lead by example. Obviously I'm not the biggest guy in the world and I'm not the most talented but I play the game hard and I play it the right way," said Ross on Thursday. "You know they'll see that and hopefully they'll follow. I was taught how to play the game that way and I would expect when they're (Eaton and Parra) veterans they'll do the same."
Ross fits the mold and personality that both manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers are looking for. Hard-working, all-around team players are abundant on this year's D-backs' roster.
The young players would be wise to take advice from Ross, considering he's had success at the highest level. When claimed off waivers by San Francisco in August of 2010, he went on to be MVP of National League Championship Series by hitting .350 with three home runs and five RBI against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Obviously experience and being around, not only talking it but doing it helps. Definitely they can ask me as many questions as they want and I'll try to help them out as much as I can. Like I said, that's what was done to me when I was a young kid and I'll pass that along," reiterated Ross.
When the media spoke with Eaton at his locker on Monday, he immediately talked about his excitement of having his locker right next to Ross, who seems equally excited to take on that leadership role with the youngsters.
"Anything I can do to help, any questions, they know that I'm open and free to talk," Ross told reporters on Thursday. "I just want everybody to be the best they possibly can because that's the way we're going to win."
Ross himself may have said it best when he stated that getting work done and enjoying baseball are all part of the game, "We'll have a lot of fun, we'll go out there and have a great time but when it gets down to business, we'll take care of it."