Why this MLB veteran and ‘golf nut’ passed on the country’s best courses

The pitchers, Cody Ross says, played everywhere. Good courses, too. Baseball teams play 81 road games a year, mostly at night, and starting pitchers play once every five games, so yeah, they play golf. 

And Ross, at the end of his 12-year career, was going to join ’em, damnit. 

“Most teams I was with, the pitchers, at least two of them would go out and play every city,” Ross said on GOLF’s Subpar podcast this week. “And I always told myself when I got later in my career that I wanted to do that because we’re going to cities that I will never travel to to go play golf. Like for example, Pittsburgh. Like, when I’m in Pittsburgh, I’m taking my clubs. Like, I’m going to go play Oakmont, I’m going to go play all the great places in Pennsylvania that are close to there.”

Only a funny thing happened on the way from the dugout to the first tee. 

Ross, over 1,073 games for eight teams, pitched just one inning. 

He was an outfielder. 

“And I’m like, oh, I never did it,” he said. “Because the last thing I wanted to do is be outside and be on my feet for four hours, and I just wanted to be in my hotel room, watch movies and order room service. So I never ended up doing it. I regret it to this day.” 

His baseball career had little else to lament. Ross finished with more than 900 hits and 100 homers. He was the 2010 NLCS MVP, and that San Francisco Giants team won the World Series. He’s gotten a good amount of golf in retirement, too. The self-described “golf nut” said on Subpar he’s now playing to a 3-handicap, and he recently made his first hole in one, at Pebble Beach of all places. 

Still. It would have been nice to play with the pitchers. 

“We are jealous that they’re doing it,” Ross said, “and then as soon as they start sucking, then we’re pissed.”  

“Yeah, you bring it up?’ co-host Drew Stoltz asked.  

“We’re like, instead of going out playing golf, why don’t you go pitch?”

To hear the rest of Ross’ Subpar interview, including stories from his MLB career, check out the video below.

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor