Is this thing on?

A play-by-play guy trying to survive in a mid-major world

Got Rings?

It is not that often I come across a World Series Championship ring.  For the most part they are a keepsake that is kept in a vault or in a special place at a players house.  There are only two former Indians players that I can recall wearing their rings.  The first was RHP Terry Adams in 2006.  “TA” won his ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2004.  He only wore the ring for one trip and that was the season opener at Pawtucket (C’mon it’s the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate…he had to wear it).  The ring he wore was the secondary ring with the real World Series ring secured back at his house.  There difference between the two rings is the one on his hand had fake diamonds and the one back home was covered in the real jewels.  The other player to wear their Championship ring was Michael Tejera.  The Cuban lefty wore his Florida Marlins 2003 ring all the time.  It was on him for every trip and it has to be one of the largest rings of all time.  It was as wide as a 50 cent piece and had plenty of diamonds.  There have been just a handful of players who would wear a Triple-A championship ring, but for the most part every player and every coach keeps their mementoes in a private place. 

Two more Indians players have their World Series rings, but don’t expect either guy to wear the ring.  RHP Steve Jackson and RHP Anthony Claggett each received their New York Yankees rings the week of April 19th.  They paraded the rings around the clubhouse and they are quite a sight. 

NYY 002.jpgEach ring is held it a wood case with “New York Yankees 2009 World Champions” on the top of the case.

 

NYY 004.jpgThe view above is the side of Jackson’s ring.  Did you know that you have to claim this ring on your taxes?  Everything you earn through baseball needs to be appraised and turned in to the IRS.  I would like to know how much the rings are worth.  To the players it is a talking point for the rest of their lives.  Jackson admits that he is lucky to have a ring and didn’t expect one.  He spent nearly two weeks in the Yankees bullpen and it was enough to take home the hardware. 

 

NYY 003.jpgAs for Claggett he pitched in two games with the World Champs was thrilled to learn he earned a ring.  Each player is expecting to keep the ring at home and are not planning on wearing it around town. 

Hitting Coach Jeff Branson fell short of a Championship ring with the Cleveland Indians in 1997.  Their AL champion rings were presented on Opening Day 1998 and they lack the bling of a World Series ring and it’s not something that Branson wears.  He is fairly sure it is something that can be found at his house.  The late Dick Jacobs, who owned the team at the time, told the players if they won the “Big One” he would make the biggest and best ring ever.  Unfortunately that ring went to the Marlins. 

The closest I came to a ring was in 2001.  The South Bend Silverhawks faced the Kane County Cougars for the Midwest League title.  Kane County won game one and game two was never played due to the tragedy of September 11th.  Most of the leagues declared co-champions that year; however Kane County was named the winner and champion.  A little later that winter I heard the management didn’t want to pony up for our rings and let the Cougars take the title.  I can’t confirm that story and I hope it is not true.  I don’t need a ring to remind me about the players and success that team had in 2001.

NEWS AND NOTES:

The Indians have won 11 of their past 15 games and are 3.5 games behind Columbus in the West Division.  33 year-old Jeremy Powell won his third straight start yesterday and was honored Monday as the International League’s Pitcher of the week.  JP won yesterday wearing this jersey:

Pink.jpgThe Indians offense has been on a tear this month with OF Jose Tabata leading the way with a .464 batting average and an outrageous .545 on base percentage.  UTIL Neil Walker is having it rough in his hometown newspapers, but is on a tear in Indy.  This month the 24 year-old is hitting .355 with a .412 on base percentage.  Last summer Walker injured his knee diving into first base and in the 73 games since the injury he is batting .307 with a .353 OBP.  Break it down and that’s 88 hits in 73 games with 13 HR and 60 runs batted in.  On Mother’s Day he hit a home run from the right side of the plate for the first time all season.  He is so valuable to the Indians, but should be playing in Pittsburgh. 

Finally, a couple of notes on 3B Pedro Alvarez.  In 8 May games he is batting .333 with 14 runs batted in.  Alvarez is already popular in Pittsburgh and judging by the turnout on autograph night; he’s  popular in Indy.  The line for Pedro’s autographs was 10 times that of anyone else on the team. 

The Indians are 3-1 on this 8 game homestand and host Rochester in game one of a four games series tonight at 7:00.  Hope you can join us for the broadcast.

Follow me on Twitter: @ScottDMcCauley

 

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