SIDNEY — The August 29 Sidney Rotary Club lunch meeting guest speaker was Dave Ross.
Ross brought with him two interesting items, a baseball and a football. The football was the game ball from the 1942 Sidney-Xenia football game, Ross said. Sidney has not played Xenia for quite some time, but the Jackets will meet Xenia this year. The game ball had the signatures of the players that started in the 1942 game against Xenia. One of the names on the ball was Dick Flanagan, who was a star at SHS and went on to play in the NFL. After high school, Mr. Flanagan played at Ohio State University and was selected in the 10th round of the NFL draft after college. His eight year NFL career included playing for the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ross and Sidney High School football head Coach Adam Doenges inflated the ball and took pictures of the ball. Doenges will share some of the Xenia-Sidney rivalry history with the players in preparation for the Xenia game, he said.
The second item of interest was a baseball from a recent Texas Rangers-Cleveland Indians game, played in Cleveland. Ross attended the game as he was following Shelby County standout Jarod Hoying. Hoying is the first baseball player from Shelby County (Fort Loramie) to make it to the major leagues. Hoying was selected in the 2010 draft by the Texas Rangers, and made his major league debut May 23, 2016. It was Ross’s first visit to the stadium in Cleveland, and even with proper credentials as a reporter, has wanted to be sure he sat in the proper seat, and was not encroaching on anyone’s seat. He noticed that no one was sitting in the front row of the press box seats. He was told by another reporter that it was very difficult to see home plate from the front row, so very few people, if any, ever sat in those seats. Ross had the entire front row to himself and could enjoy the game without being surrounded by people. During the game, he snagged a foul ball hit by Prince Fielder, and now has a souvenir from that game. Hoying is finishing the season with AAA Round Rock Express, Ross said. Hoying is currently on the 40-man roster for the Texas Rangers. Ross said he was excited that he was able to attend Hoying’s first game in the big leagues.
Ross’s love of sports has opened many doors for him over the years. He was the public address announcer for the University of Dayton football games for the past 10 years. He decided not to announce this year after he saw the Dayton Flyers uniforms. As he put it, “My vision is still very good, but trying to see the blue numbers on a red background is not the easiest thing to do. Time to hang it up and let someone else give a try.”