Complete Guide to Collecting World Series Rings
There are few things in professional sports more commonly associated with ultimate success than winning championships. A World Series title is the pinnacle of baseball prosperity and the resulting World Series rings perfectly encapsulate that triumph more than anything else. Encrusted with jewels and made of solid gold, the average fan has no shot at ever obtaining one of these treasured keepsakes. However, replica rings present an ideal budget option for team supporters to personally join in the celebration.
The World Series as we know it today began in 1903, with the Boston Americans beating the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, this was not when the first World Series rings were awarded. During this time, watches or pins were more commonly provided by the winning teams. This trend continued until 1922, when the New York Giants became the first team to issue rings to the players in recognition for a championship victory. Outside of a few exceptions in the 1920s, this concept has continued to the present day.
In more recent years, rings from championship teams that pre-date the 1922 World Series rings have emerged at auction for the 1914 Boston Braves and 1919 Cincinnati Reds. Two 1914 rings have been sold, including one for Johnny Evers and Rabbit Maranville, but it is not known if there were team-issued. The 1919 ring was made specifically for team manager Pat Moran.
The earliest World Series rings would be considered downright modest by today's standards. The general format consisted of a single diamond on a small or medium-sized design. Some rings, like the 1972 and 1973 Oakland Athletics, did not feature diamonds at all, much to the disappointment of the players. The New York Yankees changed the status quo in 1977, when their World Series rings featured an "NY" logo lined entirely with diamonds. Since then, the rings have gotten noticeably larger and more ornate with each passing year.
Replica World Series Rings
With base price tags nearing five figures for the team-issued World Series rings, it should come as no surprise that most replicas shed all the high-end materials to reach the budget price points. Depending on the quality and specifications, replica rings can be found online for as little as a few dollars and can also go for much higher. The normal price collectors can expect is around $40 to $60.
Because there is no one source for the replica rings, quality can vary greatly between the various options, so it is important to inspect the ring or images thoroughly. It is also vital to be certain of exactly what you are buying. Some rings are sold as being the title ring for a specific year, but the design might be entirely different from the ring it is intended to replicate. Another thing to note is that while many of the rings can be worn, some are issued as keychains or pendants. Also, if you are buying a ring to wear, pay special attention to sizing. The largest rings may not fit on your hand but are better utilized as display pieces.
Another popular outlet for World Series replica rings is the winning team itself. Whether to honor a significant anniversary of a previous title or to celebrate a recent championship, team giveaways have commonly included replica World Series rings from their history. Because baseball giveaway quantities can be as high as forty thousand items, availability and price makes these replica rings very appealing to collectors on a budget. However, even SGA rings can reach high prices given the popularity of the team and how many are made.
Chicago Cubs World Series Rings
In the case of the Chicago Cubs and their historic 2016 World Series victory, official maker Jostens also issued multiple fan versions in addition to the player rings. The most premium of these, complete with 10-karat white gold and real diamonds, goes for $10,800, while the more basic replica starts at $299.
The gallery found on the "World Series Rings" tab above features images for each of the team-issued World Series rings. While a decent supply of replica options can be found for most winners in the last few decades, the vintage replicas are not as common. For the sake of comparison, the images shown are largely the original team-issued rings. Sample rings or replicas are shown when no team-issued examples could be located.
With so many options, collecting them all would be a significant undertaking. However, given the likelihood for team allegiances among collectors, acquiring a team set of replica World Series rings is much more feasible. Amazon has some nice options for displaying your rings with reasonable prices.
After checking out the gallery, let us know in the comments if any of the rings particularly catch your eye.
Interested in other title rings? View our complete guide to collecting replica Super Bowl rings.
World Series Rings Visual Guide and Gallery
Click on the listings or images to shop for specific World Series replica rings on eBay.