Cubs get World Series rings to go with historic championship
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 13, 2017 11:26 AM
Chicago Cubs' team members celebrate during the 2016 World Series championship ring ceremony before the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have their rings to go with that historic championship.
The team was given its crowning jewels before Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with fans at Wrigley Field roaring as the ceremony unfolded. That put the final punctuation on a celebration 108 years in the making, one that started when the Cubs beat Cleveland in Game 7 last November for their first World Series title since 1908.
They raised the championship banner on Monday night at Wrigley and got their sparkling rewards Wednesday.
Each 14-karat white gold ring has a total of 214 diamonds, three karats of red rubies and 2.5 karats of sapphires. The top of the ring features 33 red rubies forming the team's bull's-eye logo, and the bezel features 108 round white diamonds — one for each year of the drought.
No wonder the rings arrived at Wrigley Field in an armored truck on Tuesday.
A highlight video kicked off the festivities. Commissioner Rob Manfred then presented rings to members of the Ricketts family that owns the team, starting with chairman Tom Ricketts and his wife.
Team executives came next, with fans chanting President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein's name as he accepted his ring from Ricketts. Cubs Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams got theirs. So did manager Joe Maddon and his coaches.
For the players, the Cubs added a different twist. In a nod to the support they received through more than a century of heartbreak and frustration, the team had 20 contest-winning fans serve as ring bearers for the guys in gloves and cleats.
"Based on 108 years of difficulties, I think it's the perfect method to do this," Maddon said.
Ranging from 13 to 90 years old, the fans were selected from a pool of more than 1,500 video submissions on Twitter. They were nominated by friends, family and co-workers.
They included Jimmy Thurman, a 90-year-old World War II veteran from Kewanee, Illinois. In his submission, a mock "Tonight Show" video, he recalled becoming a Cubs fan in the late 1930s because his mom was. He passed that love down through his family, and he got to hand 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta his ring.
Was the night all he hoped it would be?
"It was more," Thurman said. "My greatest one was 65 years ago when I married my wife (Wilma). That was number one, but this is right behind it."