For Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer — for any athlete, really — the championship ring is the thing.
“That’s what you hear people say, ‘I want to win that ring this year,’ ” Hosmer said. “I think that’s the coolest thing from winning, getting that ring.
“It’s something you wear and look at it and it reminds you of all the crazy stuff that happened last year, all the runs, the comebacks and for us, all the relationships we have in there with the guys. It brings back a lot of memories when you look at it.”
That’s why Jennifer Duerre is a popular figure at spring training. She’s the senior marketing and partnership manager for Jostens, and Tuesday outside the team’s clubhouse fitted Royals who hadn’t been sized up during FanFest last month.
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“I definitely enjoy what I do,” Duerre said.
Jostens has fitted several recent championship teams, including each of the previous three Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup winners. They’re looking to work with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, and they’re producing the New York Mets’ National League championship ring.
The Royals design won’t be known until the ring ceremony, which will be before the team’s second game, on April 5 against the Mets.
“The goal is to make it a wonderful surprise and wonderful reveal,” Duerre said.
Rings are provided to coaches, players and administrators throughout the organization.
Jarrod Dyson rolled up to the table on his PhunkeeDuck hoverboard, tried on different sizes, and rolled away a happy customer.
“Sweet. It’s official, baby,” Dyson said. “A lot of hard work went into this.”
Just like the previous year, when the Royals lost in the World Series. The team received American League championship rings. For Hosmer that one is displayed at his parents’ home along with other mementos from his baseball career.
The World Series ring will have a different home.
“This one will stay with me,” Hosmer said.