Just in time for the baseball playoffs, Mickey Cobb learned Thursday that his stolen 1985 World Series ring had been recovered.
“I never thought I would see it again,” the former Kansas City Royals head trainer said.
“But to know it’s been found makes it feel like Christmas.”
For two days Cobb had agonized over the fact that a burglar took the ring from his eastern Jackson County home Tuesday.
The ring represented the ultimate souvenir from his almost 20-year tenure with the team, signifying not only that year’s World Series title but the camaraderie he had developed with team members and the long hours he and they invested in that championship season.
“The ring was a reward for work done by me and the players that I helped to get ready to do their work,” said Cobb, who lives near Lee’s Summit.
The burglar also took other items, including jewelry that belonged to Cobb’s wife, Cheryl, who died July 9. Cobb recently brought the jewelry home from a bank safe deposit box to distribute it to family members.
On Wednesday, a sheriff’s office detective came by Cobb’s home to show him surveillance video photos of a person apparently using his stolen credit card. Cobb didn’t recognize the person.
Cobb remembers receiving the ring on opening day of the 1986 season in pregame ceremonies at what is now Kauffman Stadium.
Since then he has noticed how some members of the 1985 World Series team do not wear their rings in public, apparently wanting to keep them safe in storage. But Cobb said he has often enjoyed wearing his ring, pleased to watch the powerful effect it has on fans. Sometimes he has allowed people to slip it on their fingers.
“It’s occurred to me that maybe I was exposing it a little,” Cobb said. “But people get really excited over it and I’m thrilled that they can enjoy it so much.”
On Tuesday morning, before leaving on an errand, Cobb reminded himself that he did not have the ring on.
“But then I thought that I would be right back,” he said.
“Then I came home and saw that some some papers had been strewn across my office. I had a gut feeling that my ring was gone.”
Authorities alerted local pawnshops of the theft, said Capt. Michael Rogers of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
“It is a one-of-a-kind ring,” Rogers said. “So, short of taking it and selling it for 6 cents on the dollar at a gold shop, there is not much you can do with it. There’s not a pawnshop in town that will touch it.”
The sheriff’s office was holding one person of interest in the theft, Rogers said Thursday. The FBI’s Fugitive Task Force was involved in the recovery of the stolen items, said Bridget Patton, local FBI spokeswoman.
Cobb learned that authorities had recovered the ring late Thursday morning.
“It’s beyond thrilling,” he said.
Cobb, 73, started with the Royals at the team’s Florida Baseball Academy in October 1971. He worked for several years at the Royals’ Triple A team in Omaha before he reported in 1978 to Kansas City, where he served as head trainer through 1990.
“I feel like I’m 19 today,” said Cobb, who wanted to thank Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp and his employees. “We’ve had some burglaries out here and Mike said they were a priority.”
Cobb doesn’t want to be separated from his ring again.
“I’m never taking it off again. If this ring is ever stolen again, it will have a finger in it. They will have to cut it off my hand.”