Oakland A’s Rookie Pitcher Tyson Ross

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By Mia Martinez

Staff Writter

Rookie pitcher and Oakland native Tyson Ross hasn’t disappointed A’s fans since his April 7 debut against the Seattle Mariners.

“I’m very fortunate to be playing in my hometown,” Ross said. “I still have my family and friends around; I can eat at all my favorite restaurants. It is a busy schedule playing 162 games in 6 months, but its nice to be around your hometown for the little bit of free time I do have.”

Since he first picked up a baseball at five years old, Ross knew that he wanted to make it in the big leagues. Ross attended  Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, where he collected several awards including the 2005 North Coast Section Player of the Year and West Coast Classic MVP, the Hayward Area Athletic League Pitcher of the Year in 2004 and 2005. Ross was also a member of the USA Junior National Team in 2004 and 2005, pitching against Cuba in Fall of 2005 in Villahermosa, Mexico.

“In high school I began to see that I had the ability to make (a professional baseball career) happen as I began being recruited by colleges and had pro scouts at the games I pitched,” Ross said. “It’s really just been a lifetime pursuit of one goal.”

Ross decided to attend UC Berkeley after high school. During his first season with Cal in 2006 , Ross got honorable mention All-Pac-10 nod and was named The Bears’ 2006 Freshman of the Year. With his first year of college ball under his belt , Ross’ confidence carried into his sophomore season, when he took first-team All-Pac-10 honors and received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for being the best defensive collegiate pitcher.

Family friend Judy Cantrell watched Ross grow into a major league pitcher.

“It’s been exciting,” Cantrell said. “I’ve known the family for 15 years and have watched (Ross) go from where he was to where he is now. Especially since not many athletes get the chance to go from little league to majors.”

After college, Ross was drafted in 2008 by the Oakland Athletics.

His stops in the minor leagues included the Kane County Cougars, Stockton Ports and Midland Rock Hounds.

In 2010, the Oakland A’s rewarded Ross with a spot on the major league roster.

Ross acknowledges everyone around him who helped him get where he is today, “The love and support from my family is what allowed me to achieve my goal.”

In his debut game against the Seattle Mariners he pitched 2.1 innings, 0 ER, and he struck out future Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

“Watching him take the mound in Oakland was definitely special,” said  Erik Patena, a high school friend of Ross. “I knew he was on the pitching roster but I would have never known the game I was watching with my high school buddies, would be his major league debut. Seeing him pitch for the very first time in his hometown with an A’s uniform was priceless.”

Ross isn’t taking his major league experience for granted “Three things that will always be special moments are opening night, my debut, and seeing Dallas Braden throw his perfect game on Mother’s Day.”