Posts Tagged New York Yankees

Major League Baseball Presents Yogi Berra With a Special 90th Birthday Gift

May 12, 2015

Yogi turns 90 years old today, and MLB is presenting him with 10 Yankee World Series Rings to replace those that were stolen from his museum.

Yogi Berra World Series Rings

Not only is MLB replacing his 10 Yankee World Series rings, they are also presenting a complete run of all 27 Yankees championship rings and Yogi’s three MVP awards. (I’m not sure how they can do this, it’s probably poor research on the news bureau that reported this story first, as the Yankees never made a 1923 World Series ring).

Also, Yogi will get replacement World Series rings of his Mets 1969 World Championship ring (coach) and 1973 NL Pennant ring (manager).

When Yogi’s museum was robbed last year, sadly, all of his rings were stolen, as well as his MVP awards.

While the FBI remains on the case, no one has been caught and the items have not turned up.

A petition is gaining momentum to award Yogi Berra the prestigious, Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s about the only hardware he hasn’t won.

Please remember, I want to buy your championship ring, so let me know if you are thinking of selling.

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The Mickey Mantle Career Championship Ring

April 30, 2015

This was the first career ring made by a prominent championship ring company.   Designed for Mantle fans and championship ring collectors, pardon the pun – it was a big hit.

(Click picture below for a larger picture)

Picture of Mickey Mantle Career Championship Ring

The Mickey Mantle championship ring was fully authorized and licensed by the Mantle family and was designed and made by Balfour shortly after his death.

Balfour has been designing every single Yankee championship ring for decades.

The solid yellow gold 10K ring contained 6 real diamonds, although in my opinion, they should have figured out how to manufacture the championship ring with 7 diamonds – Mickey’s uniform number. Originally the ring was to be produced in a quantity of 536 pieces, matching Mantle’s total home run tally. Due to supposed financial reasons, or perhaps lack of initial interest, only 350 were produced.

Although it has been stated that 350 pieces were made, I believe a lot less were produced because every single ring contained a unique serial number and I have never seen a number higher than 153.

As you can see in the photo above, the championship ring contains a prominent “7″ on the top, along with his name and first and last seasons playing for the Yankees. One side, has his most impressive accomplishments and the other, pays homage to Yankee stadium, a facsimile of his autograph, and the date he retired.

The ring came in a small wooden box with another facsimile autograph. The small wooden presentation box is the same style and size as the Yankees 1996 World Series ring box. This is a strong clue that the Mantle career championship ring was produced around this time period.

With less than 200 of these rings in existence, they come up for auction occasionally and sell in the $3,000 price range.

I would advise against wearing this gorgeous ring – the statistics on the baseball bats would wear down fairly quickly, since they protrude a lot from the ring.

Please remember that I love to buy championship rings. So if you have a championship ring that you would like to sell, please let me know as soon as possible.

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Is Babe Ruth’s 1927 Yankees World Series Ring the Most Valuable Championship Ring Ever?

March 19, 2015

The 1927 Yankees team is considered the best baseball team ever, going an amazing 110-44. A photo of a ’27 ring belonging to player Joe Dugan, is shown below:

1927 New York Yankees Ring

The 1927 Yankee World Series ring is the first championship ring awarded to Yankee players. The last championship they won before 1927, culminated in the presentation of solid gold pocket watches (1923).

Industry experts believe if Ruth’s 1927 ring came up to auction it would sell for over $500,000.

I believe it would go for a lot more money than that, as Julius Ervings’s 1974 ABA championship ring sold at auction for $460,741 in 2011.   An honestly, which championship ring would you rather own?

Here’s some more prices realized and information about Ruth’s 1927 ring and those belonging to his teammates:

According to my records, Joe Dugan’s ’27 World Series ring (in amazing condition and shown above) sold in a Leland’s auction in 2002 for $11,205.12.

You can see by the prices below that the market for sports memorabilia and championship rings really started to heat up in the years that followed.

A club house manager’s non player ring, but the same as the players received, sold in a Leland’s auction in 2005 for $21,326.

Miller Huggins’ 1927 championship ring was sold in a Mastro auction for $204,000 in 2007.

Earle Combs ring was sold by Heritage in 2014 for $155,350.   Like the World Series ring shown above, it was in great condition too.

Benny Bengough’s 1927 championship ring, in poor-to-fair condition, was sold in a 2015 auction by Heritage for $38,240.   A couple of people in the hobby who know about championship rings thought the ring sold very low.

Here’s where details get a little foggy…

In researching Yankee rings, I learned that in 1999, Sotheby’s sold what was believed to be   Lou Gehrig’s 1927 ring for $96,000. The World Series ring originated from the famous collection of Barry Halper.

Combining Barry Halper and the words “believed to be….” are not what some collectors want to hear, so I am not sure if the ring was authentic and original.

Barry Halper reportedly owed Ruth’s 1927 ring. That ring is now owned by Charlie Sheen. I have seen pictures of Sheen wearing the 1927 ring and the condition of the ring looks to be excellent and in unworn condition. An 88 year old ring should not be in unworn condition so it makes we wonder if that’s Babe Ruth’s original World Series ring.

The website, Deadspin   also raised questions about the origins of that ring. Babe Ruth’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, also questioned the ring’s authenticity and whether it was stolen from her family decades ago. (I’m not sure how she can question the authenticity of the ring if she also feels it’s a ring stolen from her family).

A book written by her mother, Dorothy Ruth Pirone, also claimed that Ruth’s World Series rings had mysteriously disappeared at some point after his passing in 1948. Adding to the confusion, were statements made by deceased collecting legend Barry Halper in 1990 that he had purchased Ruth’s 1927 ring directly from Dorothy Ruth Pirone. Pirone’s daughter, Linda, claims that Halper’s story was a “huge lie.”

Please remember I buy World Series rings. If you wish to sell a World Series ring or sell a championship ring, please let me know.

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The World of Vintage Yankee Championship Rings

March 16, 2015

The Yankees won 20 World Series Rings from 1923 – 1962, and lost an additional 9 World Series between the years 1921 through 1964. That means there are plenty of winning and losing vintage Yankee rings to collect.

(Click picture below for a larger picture)

Yankee World Series Rings

The Yankees didn’t receive an American League championship rings (awarded when a team loses the World Series) until 1942, and there was one World Series (1923) where they were awarded a solid gold pocket watch, not a championship ring.

With the 1927 ring I just acquired from Heritage Auctions, I have assembled nine authentic vintage Yankee championship rings (shown above).

Shown above (starting with the bottom row and left to right) are World Series winning rings: 1927, 1938, 1939, 1949, 1952, 1953 (the “5″). Above those rings are the 1957 AL Championship ring, 1958 World Series winning ring, and the 1964 AL championship ring.

The American League championship rings are easy to distinguish – they have the top-hat designs.

The earlier rings were made by Dieges & Clust and then Balfour took over and made the rest.

I am slowly building my vintage Yankee collection. I reject many possible rings to acquire due to the fact that some rings are out-right fakes. Also, many of the old-time player rings were remade decades later for players who lost original rings. Those player remade versions contain some not-so-subtle differences from the originals.

About a decade ago, Whitey Ford sold many of his rings at auction and many of them were remade and had differences from the originals. These are the rings I avoid.

As far as fakes go, you can thank Irv Lerner for many of the bogus Yankee World Series rings in the market place. Vintage Yankee rings are easy to “fake and make” as these championship rings are relatively simple designs that did not change much over the years. Please search the search-box on the right for additional information about Irv and his fake rings.

I buy championship rings, so if you want to sell your championship ring, please get in touch with me.

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Lou Gehrig’s World Series Rings

March 11, 2015

Pictured below are authentic 1927 and 1938 Yankee Player World Series rings. Although not Gehrig’s actual rings, they offer a glimpse of what his rings looked like.

New York Yankee World Series 1927 Rings

The significance of the World Series rings above is that they are the first and last World Series rings Gehrig won as a player.

Lou Gehrig had an amazing Hall of Fame career – a lifetime .340 batting average, two time AL MVP titles, a Triple Crown in 1934, a three time AL home run champion, and the first Yankee player to have his number retired.

We just don’t know how many World Series rings he was awarded. According to Wikipedia (yea, I know, it’s Wikipedia), he was a 6-time World Series Champion (1927, 1928, 1932, and 1936-1938) but his last major league game was in April of 1939.

It became apparent to Gehrig in April of 1939 that he could no longer play at the level that he was accustomed to, so he retired. The Yankees went on to win the World Series again in 1939 for their fourth consecutive championship. Did they award a World Series ring to Gehrig? If they did, it would have been his seventh World Series Ring.

When the Yankees honored him on July 4th at Yankee Stadium, they officially labeled it as “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day”. The Yankees surprised him with a magnificent and beautiful, one of a kind trophy made by Dieges & Clust. Dieges & Clust manufactured the early Yankee championship rings, the Heisman Trophy, the Major-League baseball MVP and Cy Young awards.

The trophy made by Dieges & Clust for Gehrig was expensive; we know this thanks to Rob Lifson and his recent auction of the old Dieges & Clust archive records.

In all likelihood, the Yankees probably awarded Gehrig a team 1939 World Series ring that season, but I’m not 100% positive.

It’s a mystery what happened to Gehrig’s World Series rings. Barry Halper claimed to have once owned both Gehrig’s, and Ruth’s 1927 World Series rings. Charlie Sheen was photographed wearing Ruth’s rings a few years back, however no one is sure it’s an original or authentic ring.

Getting back to Lou Gehrig, I don’t believe a Gehrig World Series ring has ever been put in an auction or offered for sale.

I buy World Series rings. If you want to sell your World Series ring, please let me know.

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spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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