Former Brave David Ross recounts Jason Heyward’s World Series rain delay speech

Braves catcher Brian McCann, left, cheers on (22) Jason Heyward, center as he is mobbed by David Ross and the rest of the Braves team after hitting a game winning single to score Martin Prado in the 9th for a 4-3 victory over the Rockies at Turner Field in Atlanta.
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Braves catcher Brian McCann, left, cheers on (22) Jason Heyward, center as he is mobbed by David Ross and the rest of the Braves team after hitting a game winning single to score Martin Prado in the 9th for a 4-3 victory over the Rockies at Turner Field in Atlanta.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

David Ross isn’t just a former catcher for the Atlanta Braves or a World Series champion, he also served as a mentor to Jason Heyward.

Ross— who called Heyward "an incredible man" in his new book “Teammate”— and Heyward spent three years together in Atlanta before the two reunited in Chicago in December 2015.

One of the best Heyward stories Ross recounts in “Teammate” isn’t when Heyward bought Ross and his family hotel suites for each away game of the 2016 season as a retirement gift, but Heyward’s rain delay speech to the Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series.

The game was tied 6-6 in the top of the 10th and then it started to rain.

In the now famous seventeen minute rain delay, Heyward inspired the Cubs with a speech during a players-only meeting.

“Jason's wasn't a fire-and-brimstone speech,” Ross wrote. “It was direct, but personal, from the heart and with plenty of passion. Jason reminded everyone that, as players and as the Cubs team, all of us had overcome challenges during the season. We had faced obstacles but took all of them in stride. We had overcome every obstacle to reach this point in Game Seven, and that's why we were the best team in Major League Baseball...

“Jason reminded the guys not to change a thing once the game resumed. He said there were other people included in the Cubs organization who had their hands in our success. But, at the end of the day it was us who had to overcome everything. Nobody else.”

The Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th and held the Indians to one run in the bottom of the 10th, winning Game Seven 8-7.

Ross discusses Heyward’s impact off the field, countering the criticism surrounding Heyward’s struggles in 2016.

Despite his struggles on the field, his teammates never looked down on Heyward because during moments like Heyward’s rain delay speech, he proved how good of a teammate and person he was.

During the Cubs’ World Series championship season, Heyward hit a career-low of seven home runs, batted .230 and was eventually replaced in the lineup when the postseason came around. Ross wrote Heyward never complained when he struggled and continued to do his best.

Mentioning Heyward’s name over and over again in “Teammate,” Ross proves Heyward was one of the most special teammates Ross had in his 15-year career.

"I'm glad I got to spend my last season in the big leagues with Jason," Ross wrote. "I was there when his big-league career started in Atlanta, and he was with me when mine ended in Chicago. That was pretty cool."

“Teammate” will be released on Tuesday.