This is a prize befitting of the kings of baseball.
The Royals received their 2015 World Series rings on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium, and they are dazzling pieces of art.
Jostens designed the rings, which feature two types of gold and nearly 10 carats of gemstones, and they were given to the team in a special ceremony ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Mets.
The players were fitted for the rings during spring training in Surprise, Ariz., and then left to dream of their appearance. Third baseman Mike Moustakas was excited to see them.
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“Coming up through this minor-league organization, we won a ton of rings — Double-A, Triple-A, Single-A, all those rings,” Moustakas said before the ceremony. “This one is a little bit more special than all of those. I’m not sure if I’ll wear it or not. I’m sure I’ll wear it at some point, but again, it’s something special that I’ll want to keep it a long time.”
Custom-cut blue sapphires were used to create the KC logo and it is outlined in yellow gold. The words “World Champions” are at the top and bottom in yellow gold, and a cluster of round diamonds are set on a field of 14-karat white gold that make up the front of the ring.
The sides are based on the team’s crown logo on 14-karat yellow gold with a gold satin finish. Thirty round white diamonds comprise the top of the crown, while a row of blue sapphires sits behind the crown.
Near the top left side of the rings is each person’s name above a silhouette of Kauffman Stadium with the Crown Vision board, along with the logos of the Royals and Major League Baseball.
On the right side of the ring, the year 2015 is set in white diamonds above a baseball diamond that surrounds a silhouette of the World Series trophy. A blue princess-cut sapphire is at first and third base, and they represent the team’s appearances in the 2014 and 2015 World Series.
In a nod to the series-clinching victory in Game 5 of last year’s World Series, five round white diamonds are representative of the five runs the Royals scored in the 12th inning against the Mets.
On the inside is the logo of each 2015 playoff opponent and the result. The words “Royals,” “crowned” and “back to back AL champs,” are there as well.
In short: The rings are keepers, but that was a given anyway, right?
“Anybody that plays Major League Baseball or baseball in general dreams of playing in the World Series,” Moustakas said. “There are guys that played this game for 10, 12 years and never made it to the postseason. To win a World Series at a young age with this group of guys is pretty special.”
As the Kansas City Symphony played behind home plate, Royals manager Ned Yost handed out the rings to the players during the ceremony, and he received a hug from a number of players. Former players Greg Holland, Jason Frasor and Alex Rios each received their rings Tuesday.
Fans chanted “Edd-ie, Edd-ie” when Edinson Volquez got his prize and went down a greeting line that included baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, owner David Glass and general manager Dayton Moore.
The rings were distributed mostly in numerical jersey order, but the last player to step from the dugout was left fielder Alex Gordon. The Kauffman Stadium faithful roared its approval.
Kevin Uhlich, the Royals’ senior vice president for business operations, said the team will be giving out about 700 rings in total. That numbers includes players, coaches, field staff, full-time front office members, scouts, minor-league instructors and staff, as well as some part-time supervisors and staff that are in Kansas City year round.
Miran Armutlu, vice president of product development for Jostens, said the design process took about six weeks. Jostens made a half-dozen trips to Kansas City to meet with Royals officials.
“I told Kevin (Uhlich), this is going to set a new standard,” Armutlu said. “It really does. It changes the dynamics of the game a little bit. For the first time, it’s yellow gold. For the longest time, it’s been white gold.
“Just the complexity of putting this ring together, let’s just say it’s been fun. It’s been a lot of fun.”