‘DWTS’ Has First Baseball Player in 40-Year-Old ‘Grandpa Rossy’

Dancing with the Stars - Lindsay Arnold, David Ross
ABC/Craig Sjodin
Lindsay Arnold admits that it's easy to love her partner, former MBL star, David Ross. “He is turning into my favorite, too. He is freaking amazing. He is so fun to be with and such a good guy.”

When Dancing With the Stars kicks off its 24th season, fans will witness a ballroom first, and Lindsay Arnold is excited to be a part of it. Arnold’s partner, former MLB star David Ross, is the first baseball player to sashay into the dance competition.

“I was pretty shocked that he was the first,” admits Arnold, “but also extremely excited because I feel like baseball fans need a baseball player on the show that they can watch. I’m hoping that we’re getting some new viewers this season from people that just want to watch David.”

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And fans will tune in for Ross. The recent retiree is a two-time World Series champion and helped the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years. Ross’ encouraging demeanor earned him the nickname “Grandpa Rossy” (he’s only 40) from his Cubs teammates and Arnold is definitely getting a supportive vibe from her partner.

“It’s so funny,” 23-year-old Arnold giggles, “Within the first 30 minutes of being with him, I already was like, ‘This guy reminds me of my dad.’ It’s their personalities and so many little things. He is very similar to my actual father, and it’s interesting how he’s taken on that role as a second dad to me. I feel like his daughter.”

Ross posted a pic on Instagram of his daughter, Landri, bonding with Lindsay.

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Day 1 in the books, long way to go! @lindsarnold might have a new BFF. #schooldressup

A post shared by David Ross (@grandparossy_3) on

Arnold continues, “I’ve hung out with his family a little bit. I’ve gotten to know his kids and his wife, and even the way that he disciplines and treats his kids is very similar to the way that I was raised, and I love that because it feels like home. I feel like I’m surrounded by family.”

Before Arnold met her partner, she was a baseball rookie, but reveals, “Since then he has quickly gotten me up to speed. We’ve had multiple hour-long conversations just about baseball and how it works and all the details.” In the DWTS season premiere, Arnold and Ross will dance the quickstep to Steve Goodman’s sports anthem, “Go Cubs Go.”

And while Arnold has undergone a bit of baseball spring training, she’s also scouted her partner for skills that he’s bringing from the ballgame to the ballroom.

“He’s obviously athletic,” says Arnold, listing a rundown of Ross’ strengths. “He’s in great shape. He’s used to moving quick, so it’s very helpful in the fact that the footwork is coming much easier to him than I expected it to.”

And Arnold is already confident on which dances are in Ross’ wheelhouse, telling TV Insider, “I think a lot of the faster-paced dances are going to be really good for him —the quickstep, the jive. He’s an energetic person, he likes to be moving; and he’s putting a lot of energy into everything he does.”

When informed that her partner is a beloved athlete, Arnold admits, “He is turning into my favorite, too. He is freaking amazing. He is so fun to be with and such a good guy.”

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC