26 Rings and a Pocket Watch (Day VI of VI)
The New York Yankees have won the most World Series (27) in MLB history. Though, while the presentation of a ring is common in todays sporting world, the Yankees have only awarded 26 rings to their players.
This week we go year-by-year and showcase each team and what the players were rewarded for each World Series win.
1996 World Series
After the rings in 1977 and 1978, the Yankees had a new design by having a blue gemstone on the ring face. They’ve gone to this type of design every year since, and it is the third category of rings for the Yankees. For the 1996 ring it was crafted by the L.G. Balfour Company and made with fourteen-karat-gold.
On the ring face of the 1996 ring, the Yankees placed their interlocking NY insignia on the blue gemstone background. Inside the logo are 24 genuine diamonds. On the rest of the face comes the words “WORLD CHAMPIONS” and the year “1996”.
On the left shank comes the name of the ring recipient (the one above for MGR Joe Torre) above the phrases “COURAGE” and “HEART” which surround the commissioners trophy. On the right shank comes the iconic Yankee Stadium frieze above the Yankees hat and bat logo above the word “TRADITION”.
1998 World Series
The 1998 ring follows many of the same conventions as the 1996 ring. Still made by Balfour, still in fourteen-karat gold.
The ring face also features the interlocking NY inlayed with 24 diamonds and another 24 diamonds surrounding it on the edge of the ring face. Additionally comes the words “WORLD CHAMPIONS” and the year “1998”.
On the left shank comes the recipients name (this for the son-in-law of George Steinbrenner) with the commissioners trophy on top of a model of the Yankees grandstand above the word “TRADITION”. On the right shank comes the Yankees overall record of 125-50 from the 1998 season above the hat and bat logo and the words “BEST EVER”.
1999 World Series
The Yankees in 1999 took the 1998 ring and figured that the Balfour company could stand to put some more diamonds on the ring face. They have diamonds inside the insignia, around the insignia, and in place of the usual phrase “WORLD CHAMPIONS”. The blue gemstone can barely be made out. And yes, it’s still made of fourteen-karat gold.
On the left shank comes the name of the recipient (this for Bobby Murcer who was part of the front office) above the commissioners trophy that was placed on top of the Yankees grandstand and with “25th” inlayed over it. This comes above the word “TRADITION”. On the right shank comes a modification of the Yankees hat and bat logo with the phrase “THE CENTURY’S TEAM” above the frieze and the phrase “25th WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP”.
2000 World Series
The 2000 ring scaled it back again from 1999, though the L.G. Balfour Company kept most of the things the same.
On the ring face comes the interlocking NY on top of a blue gemstone and diamonds that are placed in a particular way to make it appear that the logo is still on top of a baseball diamond. (The figural baseball diamond is back!) Surrounding the ring face comes the words “WORLD CHAMPIONS” and the year “2000”.
On the left shank comes the Yankee Stadium frieze over the hat and bat logo over the word “PRIDE”. On the right shank comes the recipients name (I’m not quite sure who Tankel was for the Yankees team) above a representation of the NYC skyline- as this was a Subway World Series-, the commissioner’s trophy, a “26th”, and the phrase “TRADITION”.
2009 World Series:
The Yankees latest ring was a change from the Yankees typical ring design as the Balfour company still made it with fourteen-karat-gold, though not in a typical gold color.
On the ring face has the Yankees interlocking NY insignia on top of a figural baseball diamond outline that is filled with diamonds. If you think the 1999 ring had a lot of diamonds, that was nothing compared to 2009. Every place they could find on the elements on the ring face comes with a diamond.
On the left shank comes the recipient’s name (this for the hitting coach of the Yankees single-A affiliate) above the Yankees hat and bat logo and the words “TRADITION”. On the right shank comes the words “WORLD CHAMPIONS” above Yankee Stadium and the year “2009” and the word “UNITY”. The inside of the ring band also had the Yankees inaugural season logo cut into it as well.