Chicago White Sox bench player Ross Gload is currently the only former Bulls baseball player to be featured on a Major League roster. Drafted in 1997 by the Florida Marlins, he will now join the White Sox in the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox starting Tuesday.
“I was hoping he’d make the roster,” said his former USF coach Eddie Cardieri, who enters his 21st season with the Bulls. “You know, last season he had 250 at bats and about 20 doubles. I felt if he had gotten 500 at bats he could have easily shot for Rookie of the Year.”
Gload, who in 2004 won the September Rookie of the Month and finished eighth in the Rookie of the Year voting, was brought back from Triple A Charlotte on Sept. 1 and saw limited playing time throughout last month. On Friday, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen rested most of the usually starters, and Gload started at first base for incumbent Paul Konerko.
In the top of the 13th inning, after going 0-for-5 during the game, Gload hit the game-winning double to score two runs and lift the White Sox over the Cleveland Indians 3-2. The Indians were trying to clinch the AL Wild Card spot.
Gload went 1-for-4 in Saturday and Sunday’s games as the White Sox clinched the AL Central Title for the first time since 2000 on Thursday over the Detroit Tigers. The White Sox almost saw the diminishing of a 15-and-a-half game lead in the AL Central as of Aug. 1, letting it dwindle down to only one and a half games over the Indians with a week left in the season.
Former Bulls coach Robin Roberts pitched for the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies when the team won the World Series 4-0 over the New York Yankees, and USF alumnus and current St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa – who starts the National League Division Series against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday – has managed four different World Series teams, only winning once in 1989 with the Oakland Athletics, which beat the San Francisco Giants. The 1989 Athletics did not take former Bull Scott Hemond, whose number is retired at Red McEwen Field, to the World Series.
However, he was dropped from the roster after the ALCS, which means Hemond has a championship ring.
There have been no former players from USF who have either been in or won a World Series ring.
Cardieri, however, said he’s got a new team this October.
“I will absolutely be rooting for the White Sox this month,” he said.