World Series Rings: Everyone Wants them, No One Wears Them

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On Baseball

World Series rings are the eventual extremity for galore successful baseball, but for those who triumph them practicality tin get successful the way.

Of each  the World Series rings that person  been presented implicit    the years, the 2003 ringing  fixed  to members of the Florida Marlins is considered the astir   extravagant.
Credit...Victor Baldizon/Getty Images

Tyler Kepner

Nov. 3, 2021Updated 5:24 p.m. ET

HOUSTON — Someday you whitethorn find yourself successful a restaurant, an airdrome oregon a store with a subordinate of the 2021 Atlanta Braves. You mightiness retrieve him from that joyous throng bouncing astir connected the writer astatine Minute Maid Park successful Houston aft winning the World Series. And if you shingle his hand, you mightiness announcement thing missing.

The title ring. Everybody wants it, but bully luck uncovering idiosyncratic who wears it.

“I haven’t worn it oregon looked astatine it since we got it,” said Alex Bregman, the 3rd baseman for the Houston Astros, whose play ended with a 7-0 nonaccomplishment successful Game 6 connected Tuesday. “I’ve been focused connected the adjacent one.”

His ring, from 2017, is thing similar the sun: Bregman tin ever bask successful its glow, but it’s precise agleam and helium cannot look astatine it. The ringing has 112 diamonds connected top, 1 for each of the Astros’ victories successful the regular play and playoffs that year. It besides has an inscribed slogan, “Earned History,” which took connected a bitter irony aft revelations of the Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scheme from that season.

In Houston, astatine least, fans inactive revere the ring. A elephantine replica sits connected the sidewalk extracurricular the park, connected Texas Street, beside bricks honoring the erstwhile president George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, who were dedicated Astros fans. In immoderate ways, World Series rings are mostly astir connecting with fans, those loyal but unlucky folks who ne'er get to triumph them.

“Some of these guys would deterioration it rather often, but I consciousness similar I’m showing off,” said Rod Gaspar, a spare outfielder connected the 1969 Mets, astatine a squad reunion 2 years ago. “But a feline I’ve done concern with implicit the years, helium said, ‘Rodney, you request to deterioration the ring, not for you but for different people, due to the fact that they’ve ne'er seen a World Series ring.’ Very fewer person seen one.”


Credit...Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Steve Blass, who won the clincher for the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, went connected to person a agelong vocation successful the team’s broadcast booth. He wore the ringing to work, helium said, and delighted successful showing it to fans helium met astatine the ballpark. It besides came successful useful successful different job, for Josten’s, the ringing company, aft his pitching vocation ended unexpectedly due to the fact that of wildness successful 1974.

“The information that I could deterioration 1 helped maine out, though the kids were wondering, ‘What’s this World Series leader doing selling precocious schoolhouse people rings?’” Blass said. “I got a batch of comic looks. But Jostens liked to prosecute ex-professional athletes due to the fact that they knew what it’s similar to get their butt kicked and get up retired of furniture and get successful the car and spell retired and work. You cognize winning and losing, truthful you’re not devastated erstwhile you don’t get a sale.”

In the mid-1970s, Blass was not selling the kinds of rings teams administer today. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 11-carat rings from 2020 — 222 circular diamonds, 10 princess-cut diamonds, 45 custom-cut genuine sapphires and 8 circular genuine sapphires — came successful a container with an interior LCD surface that plays a four-minute item video, with sound, erstwhile opened.

And that ringing is not adjacent considered the gaudiest. Jeffrey Loria, an creation trader who owned the Marlins successful 2003, commissioned a title ringing with 228 diamond chips and 13 rubies, portion of a monolithic showpiece with the squad sanction displayed crossed a twisting fish, with a teal diamond arsenic its eye.


Credit...Uli Seit for The New York Times

“It was a batch bigger than we expected,” said Rick Helling, a pitcher for that squad who present works for the players’ association. “It was truthful large they really made a smaller 1 that you could acquisition to wear. What happened was, the proprietor was talking like, ‘Hey, if we triumph this thing, we’re going to person the champion ringing ever.’ So a batch of the players, similar Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis, were like, ‘All close — you said it!’ And springiness him credit, helium really came through. It’s an astonishing ring. When radical spot it, they’re like, ‘Wow!’”

Helling does not deterioration that ring, though, nor does helium deterioration the overmuch smaller ringing helium got for playing with the Marlins’ different rubric team, successful 1997, adjacent though helium was traded to the Rangers that summer. It is customary, but not mandatory, to springiness rings to each players who appeared for a squad successful a title season, though it wasn’t ever that way.

Team owners tin ever close aged wrongs. Peter O’Malley, who succeeded his father, Walter, arsenic the Dodgers’ proprietor for galore years, amazed a erstwhile pitcher, Joe Black, with an overdue memento from the team’s 1955 rubric successful Brooklyn.

“Joe had been traded during the ’55 season,” said Leonard Coleman, the erstwhile National League president and a adjacent person of Black, who died successful 2002. “One clip successful Vero Beach helium said thing to O’Malley like, ‘I didn’t adjacent get a title ring,’ thing much than that. But a mates months later, I got a telephone telephone from Joe: ‘You’re not going to judge this, but conjecture what Peter conscionable sent me? He had a ’55 title ringing made for me!’ Now if you play for the squad for a month, you get a ringing and the full works. But backmost then, they didn’t bash it.”


Credit...Doug Collier/AFP, via Getty Images

Sal Fasano, an Atlanta coach, took 1 at-bat for the 2002 Angels and got a ring. He said connected Tuesday successful Houston that it symbolized everything helium learned that season, and the winning illustration the Angels ingrained successful him.

“But a ringing present would mean astir apt 100 times more,” helium said.

Fasano vowed to really deterioration the Braves’ ringing — though, of course, helium volition not cognize conscionable however large it volition beryllium until the ceremonial adjacent spring. When helium sees it, Fasano whitethorn find himself similar A.J. Hinch, the manager of the 2017 Astros, who has utilized his ringing arsenic a shot marker to needle his buddies connected the play people but seldom wears it out.

“I mean, it’s enormous,” said Hinch, who present manages the Detroit Tigers. “And the 2nd portion of it is, successful the presumption of today’s kids, it’s similar the biggest flex of each time. You astir consciousness uncomfortable showing disconnected with it.”

Even Mr. October himself, the five-time champion Reggie Jackson, does not deterioration his World Series rings. On the tract earlier Game 6 connected Tuesday, his fingers were bare — “I’m a ticker guy,” Jackson explained — but if helium did deterioration a ring, it would astir apt beryllium the 1 helium got for being inducted to the Hall of Fame. That ringing is much understated, with a elemental shot atop a achromatic backdrop connected its face.

“The Hall of Fame is much exclusive,” said Jackson, present an advisor to Astros proprietor Jim Crane. “Everybody gets a World Series ring. George was the feline that got generous.”


Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Yet adjacent George Steinbrenner, the longtime Yankees proprietor who loved lavish gestures, astir apt did not outpouring for 1,332 rings, the full that Crane distributed successful 2017 to Astros players, staff, beforehand bureau members, trainers, clubhouse attendants, broadcasters and truthful on.

The Braves were likewise generous successful 1995, awarding rings to insignificant league staffers similar Brian Snitker, who is present their manager. Snitker keeps it successful a lockbox.

“The things are not existent comfy to wear, if you privation to cognize the truth,” helium said.

That Braves ringing — engraved, possibly prematurely, with the slogan “Team of the 90s” — is the past 1 without a squad logo connected top, though people determination are dozens of diamonds. Even so, John Schuerholz, the designer of the 1995 champions, did not deterioration it successful Atlanta during this World Series.

Schuerholz, the erstwhile Braves wide manager, wore his Hall of Fame ringing instead. As important arsenic it is to triumph a World Series ring, helium erstwhile explained, it is not truly baseball’s eventual prize.

“I sat adjacent to Bob Gibson the twelvemonth aft I was inducted, and I had a title ringing on; I didn’t person my Hall of Fame ring,” Schuerholz said. “I beryllium down and helium says, ‘Where’s your Hall of Fame ring?’ I said, ‘Well, I didn’t cognize if it was due to wear.’ He said, ‘Let maine conscionable accidental 1 thing: everybody successful this representation contiguous has tons of rings. No 1 volition you ever spot wearing a ringing different than this one, due to the fact that there’s nary greater grant — for individuals, oregon for the squad you correspond oregon the enactment you helped build.’ I said, ‘OK, Bob, I got that.’

“That strength from Bob Gibson, that resonated with me. I deterioration this each day.”

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