World Series ring

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World Series rings given out by the New York Yankees, Anaheim Angels, and Florida Marlins Champ Ring.jpg
World Series rings given out by the New York Yankees, Anaheim Angels, and Florida Marlins

A World Series ring is an award given to Major League Baseball players who win the World Series. Since only one Commissioner's Trophy is awarded to the team, a World Series ring is an individual award that players and staff of each World Series champion team get to keep for themselves to symbolize the victory. World Series rings are uniquely commissioned by the winning team each year and presented to deserving players and staff early in the next season. [1] The rings have been made by companies that include Jostens, Tiffany & Co., Dieges & Clust, and L.G. Balfour Company.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, and the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

The Commissioner's Trophy is presented each year by the Commissioner of Baseball to the Major League Baseball team that wins the World Series. Recent trophy designs contain flags representing each team in North America's top two leagues, the National League and the American League. The two participating teams in that year's World Series were previously represented by two press pins set on the base of the trophy. It is the only championship trophy of the five major sports in North America that is not named after a particular person.

Contents


The first World Series ring was given to members of the New York Giants after winning the 1922 World Series. [2] By the 1930s, each winning team gave their players a ring. Though the ring started off simple, usually containing only one diamond, rings over time have become more elaborate and ornate, with the 2003 World Series ring containing over 200 diamonds.

1922 World Series 1922 Major League Baseball championship series

In the 1922 World Series, the New York Giants defeated the New York Yankees in five games. By now, the term "World Series" was being used frequently, as opposed to "World's Series". As with the 1921 World Series, every game was played at the Polo Grounds because it housed both teams, with the home team alternating; it was also the Yankees' final season at the Polo Grounds, as they would move into the then-under construction Yankee Stadium for the 1923 season, which ended in them winning the rematch.

Diamond Allotrope of carbon often used as a gemstone and an abrasive

Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form, but diamond almost never converts to it. Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are utilized in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools. They are also the reason that diamond anvil cells can subject materials to pressures found deep in the Earth.

2003 World Series 2003 Major League Baseball championship series

The 2003 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2003 season. The 99th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Florida Marlins and the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees; the Marlins upset the heavily-favored Yankees, four games to two. The series was played from October 18 to 25, 2003. This is the most recent Series in which the losing team outscored the winning team; the Yankees lost, despite outscoring the Marlins 21–17 in the Series. This was the Marlins' second World Series championship win, having won their first in 1997.

In addition to their inherent value, World Series rings also carry additional value as sports memorabilia. A World Series ring belonging to Casey Stengel sold for $180,000. Lenny Dykstra's 1986 World Series ring sold for over $56,000 during his bankruptcy proceedings. Other rings sold in auctions have sold for over $10,000 apiece. Replica rings given to fans have sold for as much as $300.

Sports memorabilia

The term sports memorabilia usually refers to a souvenir, memento, keepsake or token of remembrance that is directly connected to a famous athlete, sporting event or personality. These items are generally collected by fans that find sentimental and/ or monetary value of the item(s). There is no set parameter regarding the number of items, type of sport, or even the era that an item may reflect. A piece of certain kind may be considered a collectable item.

Casey Stengel American baseball player and coach

Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel, was an American Major League Baseball right fielder, and manager, best known as the manager of both the championship New York Yankees of the 1950s and later, of the expansion New York Mets. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.

Lenny Dykstra American baseball player

Leonard Kyle Dykstra, is an American former professional baseball center fielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.

History

Johnny Pesky displaying a commemorative ring given to him by the Boston Red Sox after the 2004 World Series JohhnyPesky.jpg
Johnny Pesky displaying a commemorative ring given to him by the Boston Red Sox after the 2004 World Series

Prior to the 1922 World Series, players on the World Series-winning team were given keepsakes, such as a pin or pocketwatch fob. [3] The first World Series ring was given to the members of the New York Giants following their victory in the 1922 World Series over the New York Yankees. [2] When the Yankees won the 1923 World Series, players were given a commemorative pocketwatch. The Yankees first gave rings to their players following the 1927 World Series. [4] Rings became an annual tradition in the 1930s, [5] as every World Series-winning team has given rings to its players since 1932. [6] In past years, players often requested other items in place of rings, including cufflinks and tie clips. Frankie Crosetti and Tommy Henrich requested shotguns from the Yankees following World Series championships. [7] Grover Cleveland Alexander reportedly pawned his 1926 World Series ring. [6]

New York Yankees Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in the Bronx, New York, United States

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City; the other club is the National League (NL)'s New York Mets. In the 1901 season, the club began play in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles. Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise that had ceased operations and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.

In the 1923 World Series, the New York Yankees beat the New York Giants in six games. This would be the first of the Yankees' 27 World Series championships. The series was not played in a 2–3–2 format: as with the previous two Series the home field alternated each game, though this time it involved switching ballparks, as the first Yankee Stadium had opened this season.

In the 1927 World Series, the New York Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. This was the first sweep of a National League team by an American League team.

Members of the 1973 World Series champion Oakland Athletics were upset when team owner Charlie O. Finley, following salary disputes with his players, presented his team with rings that were identical to the ones received after winning the 1972 World Series, except without the one-carat diamond. Reggie Jackson referred to them as "trash rings". [7] [8] [9] The first ring to contain more than one diamond was the 1977 World Series ring commissioned by the Yankees, which had over a dozen diamonds. [8] Over time, ring designs have become larger and more elaborate, with Yogi Berra saying in 2009, "They're so much bigger now, they're like weapons. You can't even wear them." [7] Whereas older rings were 10 carat and between 20 and 25 pennyweight, modern rings are typically 14 carat and 50 pennyweight. [7] [ disputed ] The rings commissioned by the Florida Marlins after the 2003 World Series are believed to be among the most expensive World Series rings ever made; made of 14-carat white gold, the 3.5-ounce (99 g) ring featured 229 diamonds, including one teal diamond, and 13 rubies. The rings cost $20,000 apiece due to the quantity of the purchase, though they retailed at $40,000 each. [8] [10] [11] After breaking their long championship drought in 2016, the Chicago Cubs commissioned rings said to be worth up to $70,000, consisting of 214 diamonds at 5.5 carats, 3 carats of rubies, and 2.5 carats of sapphires. [12] [13]

1973 World Series 1973 Major League Baseball championship series

The 1973 World Series matched the defending champions Oakland Athletics against the New York Mets; the A's won in seven games for their second of three consecutive World Series titles.

Oakland Athletics Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Oakland, California, United States

The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the RingCentral Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of all current MLB teams. The 2017 season was the club's 50th while based in Oakland.

The 1972 World Series matched the American League champion Oakland Athletics against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds, with the Athletics winning in seven games. It was the first World Series win for the A's in 42 years, since 1930.

Teams have also increasingly added distinctive touches to make their rings unique from previous versions. For their 2007 World Series rings, the Boston Red Sox commissioned a special version for players who were on both the 2004 and 2007 championship teams, and for 2013, they included the Boston Strong logo on the side. [14] [15] The St. Louis Cardinals had the Rally Squirrel engraved into their 2011 World Series championship rings. [16] For their 2014 World Series rings, the San Francisco Giants included three diamonds on the top bezel and five on the bottom, representing their three titles in five years, and eight championships overall. [17] The 2016 World Series rings for the Chicago Cubs each contain 108 diamonds around the bezel, one for each year that the team went without a championship, and also include an image of a goat on the inner band. [18] [13] Companies that have been commissioned to create World Series rings include Jostens, Tiffany & Co., Dieges & Clust, and the L.G. Balfour Company. [19] [20] [21]

2007 World Series 2007 Major League Baseball championship series

The 2007 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2007 season. The 103rd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Colorado Rockies and the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox; the Red Sox swept the Rockies in four games. It was the Rockies' first appearance in a World Series. The Red Sox's victory was their second World Series championship in four seasons and their seventh overall; it also marked the third sweep in four years by the AL champions. The series began on Wednesday, October 24 and ended on Sunday, October 28.

Boston Strong

"Boston Strong" is a slogan that was created as part of the reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. It is a variation on the term Livestrong, which was created in 2004. Since the phrase became popular it has been frequently placed on various kinds of signage and merchandise. The use of the term in Boston has led to similar phrases entering public discourse, such as America Strong.

St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second-most in Major League Baseball and the most in the National League. Their 19 National League pennants rank third in NL history. In addition, St. Louis has won 13 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

Distribution

Players typically receive their rings in pregame ceremonies early in the next season. [16] [19] [22] [23] Since the rings are commissioned by the team, many non-players affiliated with the team, including front office executives, coaches, scouts, broadcasters, [24] locker room staff, and groundskeepers also receive rings at the team's discretion. [25] [3] [7] [26] After the 2004 World Series, the Red Sox ordered over 500 rings; [27] the Cardinals commissioned 400 rings in 2006; [1] and the Kansas City Royals distributed about 700 rings after their 2015 title. [28] Players who were only briefly on the team's roster during a championship season and those no longer affiliated with the winning team also often receive rings. [29] [30] [31] Arthur Rhodes, Bengie Molina, and Lonnie Smith played in the World Series against a team they played for earlier in the season, guaranteeing them World Series rings regardless of the series outcome.[ citation needed ] As both the physical size and number of rings given out has increased, teams have started producing both "A" and "B" versions, and sometimes "C" versions, that are similar in appearance but smaller in size and use cheaper materials. [32] The most expensive "A" rings are typically reserved for full-time players, coaches, and executives, while bit players and other team employees receive the cheaper "B" and "C" rings. [33] [28]

I've seen it called "tacky" and it is, but here's the thing about these rings: They're not supposed to be understated. They're always over the top. When they're worn, they're done so obnoxiously. There's nothing humble or particularly beautiful about them. In fact, they're always kind of ugly, no matter the team. They're full of jewels and they're shiny, but it's always too much.

David Brown, Yahoo! Sports [16]

Rings as trophies

In modern years, the importance of World Series rings to players has increased. [34] Alex Rodriguez said his 2009 World Series ring "means the world" to him, and that he would wear it daily. [35] Sergio Romo of the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants said of his ring: "In all reality, this is why we play right here." [3] Jon Jay said his 2011 World Series ring "...represents last year and all the hard work. Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of something like this." [36] Former player and current Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper said, "It's not a hug. It's not a handshake. It's not a pat on the back. It's a ring. It's the one thing every professional athlete wants: something they can hold onto, something they can show off." [26] Players' names and uniform numbers are often individually inscribed in their ring. [7] Many players prefer to display their rings as trophies as opposed to wearing them. [7]

Memorabilia

World Series rings are considered valuable sports memorabilia. In 2007, Casey Stengel's 1951 World Series ring sold for $180,000. [37] When Lenny Dykstra went through bankruptcy in 2009, his 1986 World Series ring sold for $56,762.50 through Heritage Auctions, three times as much as was expected. [38] Others have sold their rings on eBay. Doug Baker of the 1984 World Series champion Detroit Tigers had a new ring made after his original was stolen, and when he recovered the original ring, he sold it for $12,322. [39] Cucho Rodriguez, a scout for the Red Sox, sold his 2004 World Series ring for over $53,000 [40] [41] and in 2011, Scott Williamson auctioned off his 2004 ring for $89,000. [29] More recently, Willie Stargell's 1979 World Series ring was sold at auction for over $82,000. [42] However, the ring that once belonged to disgraced pitcher Brandon Puffer, when offered for sale on the August 15, 2013, episode of Pawn Stars could not be sold. The shop declined to make an offer, claiming Puffer's off-field problems destroyed the resale value of the ring. [29]

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum contains an exhibit on World Series rings. [43] The New York Yankees Museum, located in Yankee Stadium, has an exhibit with replicas of all Yankees' World Series rings, including the pocket watch given after the 1923 World Series. [44] Yogi Berra won the most World Series rings with 10, as a player. Frankie Crosetti won 17 as a player and as a coach. [6]

The most valuable rings can sell for a million dollars or more, most notably the rings belonging to the 1927 Yankees starting lineup. Babe Ruth's ring, after being in the possession of Charlie Sheen for 20 years, sold at auction for over 4 million dollars in 2017. Its whereabouts are currently unknown as the buyer is unknown. [45]

See also

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