It took “Dancing with the Stars” 24 seasons to finally feature a baseball player on the hit ABC reality show.
And retired two-time World Series champion catcher David Ross shocked many by knocking it out of the ballroom on the premiere episode Monday night.
Ross scored 28 out of 40 for a lively baseball-themed quickstep to the song “Go Cubs Go” with his partner Lindsay Arnold. He wore a blinged-out Chicago Cubs logo on his replica baseball jersey costume with little sequins attached.
On a very strong first night of dancing, gymnast Simone Biles surprised no one by getting the highest score of 32, following in the footsteps of her 2016 Olympic teammate Laurie Hernandez, who won the mirror ball trophy last season.
And Rashad Jennings showed why football players have been so popular on “DWTS,” as he earned a strong 31 points for second place.
Ross, ex-“Glee” star Heather Morris, and former Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan tied for third place on the leader board with 28 points each.
Incredibly, the former baseball player delivered a smooth routine with no previous dance experience.
Ross smiled to reporters after the show, “That’s as much fun I’ve had since probably game seven of the World Series,” referring to the previously cursed Cubs winning it all last season.
Actually, he added, “DWTS” was more fun because he was “so stressed out” during the baseball finale last November, in which his Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in one of the most exciting World Series games of all time. Ross also was on the 2013 Boston Red Sox championship team.
When asked by FOX411 if he could be the sleeper underdog of season 24, he replied, “I’m the underdog in life! Listen, I’m a backup catcher who’s on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I’ve won two World championships as a backup and a guy that is not a superstar player, so I’m fine with not getting the attention. I’m here for me, to have fun. I’m here to enjoy this, a once in a lifetime experience.”
Meanwhile, the leader Biles told FOX411 performing the tango with Sasha Farber, “was definitely fun” and noted, “Gymnastics is a very different sport from dancing.”
Kerrigan, who tied with Ross, swanned her way to a 28 with partner Artem Chigvintsev in the Viennese waltz.
Also scoring 28 was Morris, a former backup dancer for Beyonce, who has faced social media criticism for being this season’s apparent shoe-in. The wife and mom of two told reporters, “I’m trying to take it with a grain of salt….just keep humble with my family without letting it get to me at all.”
Morris, who dances with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, told FOX411, “Ballroom is completely different to what I’m used to” in dancing.
Football player Jennings (with Emma Slater) said he was enjoying the “DWTS” costumes, visiting wardrobe and, “already talking about next week. I got a swag about me that I like to have.”
Outrageous Charo tried to charge the judges’ table after only getting a score of 21 for salsa and told reporters, “I was moving like I had ants in my pants and those suckers gave me low… and then I get p*ssed off.”
Mr. T said he will donate his “DWTS” salary to charity to help the kids of St. Jude’s and Shriners. Although he only scored 20 out of 40 with partner Kym Johnson Herjavec, the second-lowest score of the night (Chris Kattan earned just 17 points), “The A-Team” star said, “Life is about trying. You get knocked down, you keep getting up. I’m a spiritual man….I might miss a beat, but I won’t quit.”
Erika Jayne of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was all about sexy in her salsa routine that earned a 24 score with partner Gleb Savchenko.
With Nick Viall’s fiancé Vanessa Grimaldi clapping in the audience, the “Bachelor” star cha-cha-ed to a 24 score with Peta Murgatroyd.
Viall said the experience “was very surreal. I kind of feel like I blacked out maybe”
Professional bull rider and model Bonner Bolton and partner Sharna Burgess sparked romance rumors after their rehearsal footage showed flirtation.
Both are single, and Burgess admitted backstage, “Obviously, we have chemistry.” Their judges’ scores for cha-cha added up to 22.
Bolton has had major medical issues and said, “She’s been very patient. Obviously it’s not easy to teach a cowboy who was paralyzed just over a year ago from the sport of bull riding.”
With no elimination on the first week, all 12 stars will return for week two on March 27.