The Obit For Chet Ross


February 25, 1989
The Buffalo News Inc

Services for Chester J. "Chet" Ross, a lifelong South Buffalo resident who played major league baseball with the old Boston Braves of the National League from 1939 to 1944, were held Friday in the James W. Cannan Funeral Home, 2397 Seneca St. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.

Ross, 72, died Tuesday (Feb. 21, 1989) in Veterans Hospital after a long illness.

Ross, an outfielder, had his best year in the majors in 1940 when he batted .281, with 17 home runs, 23 doubles and 14 triples. He had a lifetime major league batting average of .241.

"He had more natural power than anyone ever to come out of Buffalo and play major league ball," said retired major league scout Edwin "Cy" Williams.

Williams managed the 1933 Erie County American Legion baseball championship team, which included Ross and the late Eugene "Huck" Geary, also a former major leaguer who came from the same Seneca Street neighborhood as Ross.

"I took Ross to spring training in 1937 with Zanesville, Ohio, of the old Middle Atlantic League," Williams said. "He hit one of the longest home runs in minor league history, a ball that traveled approximately 425-450 feet over the clubhouse, which was located in deep center field."

During World War II, Ross served in the U.S. Navy and played on the team at the Sampson Naval Base near Geneva, but a knee injury cost him a chance to return to the majors. His last professional team was the Montreal Royals of the International League.

He is survived by a daughter, Rose Marie Guise; a brother, Norman W. of West Seneca; a sister, Margaret Howard of North Tonawanda; five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.