Superb Ross garners NLCS MVP honors
Recent pickup hit .350 with three home runs and five RBIs
PHILADELPHIA -- He stood in the clubhouse, hopping like a kid, beaming uncontrollably. Around him stood a half-dozen teammates, all raising cans of beer, all pouring in unison. And as they did, they chanted.
"M-V-P, M-V-P, M-V-P ..."
Cody Ross -- the one who once dreamed of being a rodeo clown, the one who had no true fit on this team when he arrived in August, the one who has emerged as the feel-good story of the month -- soaked it all in after being named the Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series following the Giants' 3-2 win over the Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday.
The beer. The euphoria. The sense of accomplishment and belonging.
"I cannot describe the feeling that is going through me right now," Ross said, shortly after hoisting the Warren C. Giles Trophy, which is given to the NL champs. "It's something that you dream of as a kid. I didn't dream of being in this situation a couple of months ago. I got the opportunity thanks to the front office here. They gave me a chance to come and be a part of something special.
"Here I am talking to you guys and going to the World Series. Who would have ever thought of it?"
Ross took the NLCS by storm and the Phillies by surprise from the start. He finished with three home runs -- two of which led the Giants to a critical Game 1 win over Roy Halladay -- and proved to be a nemesis all series long.
Ross is one of just four players in NLCS history to record at least six extra-base hits in a series. His .950 slugging percentage in a six-game NLCS is surpassed by no one. After driving in three against the Braves in the NL Division Series, Ross finished this series with five RBIs.
"I said it last series, not bad for a garbage pickup," teammate Aubrey Huff said, jokingly. "I couldn't be happier for the guy. He came up with some huge homers when we're getting no-hit in the fifth like three times. We're not here without him."
It was two months ago this past Friday that Ross first donned a black and orange uniform. The Giants claimed him off waivers in a move that appeared dictated more by a fear that San Diego would pluck the outfielder from the Marlins than by any need to add Ross to a crowded outfield mix.
But Ross, who drove in seven runs in 33 games down the stretch for the Giants, became their go-to hitter during the postseason.
"It's crazy how this game works," Ross said. "I can't thank the front office enough for getting me over here and giving me the opportunity to be with these guys. These teammates are unbelievable. This is the best team I've ever been on."
The 29-year-old outfielder is just the second player to be named MVP of an NLCS after being a late-season acquisition. The other -- Mike Devereaux -- earned the same honor for the Braves in 1995 after spending the majority of the season with the White Sox.
With the award, Ross joins rare Giants company, as well. He is the fourth San Francisco player to earn the NLCS MVP Award, joining Benito Santiago (2002), Will Clark (1989) and Jeffrey Leonard (1987).
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.