Royals general manager Dayton Moore piled into his car on Monday evening and made the four-hour jaunt to St. Louis. Along with his luggage he packed an unopened box containing a World Series ring. He made plans to meet an old friend on Tuesday morning.
When the Royals won the World Series last fall, Moore made it a goal to present all World Series rings in person, if possible. For players still with the organization, the task was easy. For those playing elsewhere this year, the job has required more creativity.
With the Royals having an off day on Monday — and the Chicago Cubs playing a series in St. Louis — Moore headed across the state to meet former Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist. They reunited on Tuesday morning, with Moore hand-delivering the ring.
“We all know what an important player he was for us,” Moore said. “Even though he was not in Kansas City for more than three months, he was an important part of our community, another guy who is a great teammate.”
In the hours after the meeting, Zobrist posted a video of the ring on his Instagram account. Moore was unaware the story was public knowledge until meeting with a group of reporters before Tuesday’s game against Detroit at Kauffman Stadium.
“Received my WS Championship Ring today!” Zobrist wrote. “Blessed to be a part of that team! I’ll have to rub it in to the boys and keep them hungry for a ring with a big C on it!”
Any player who spent time on the Royals’ 25-man roster in 2015 was eligible for a World Series ring. Former Royals Greg Holland, Alex Rios and Jason Frasor received theirs on opening day. The Royals presented rings to former catcher Erik Kratz, now with Houston, and reliever Ryan Madson, now with Oakland, during the season’s first road trip. For Moore, the meeting with Zobrist was special.
“We were very proud and honored he was a part of the Royals,” Moore said. “I’m glad it worked out the way it did, and we won. It was important to sit with him this morning and express those thoughts to him.”