Astros add bling, receive championship rings

Colorful rings crafted to take into account team's history, amazing run

April 3rd, 2018

HOUSTON -- It took 56 years for the Astros to win their first World Series championship, and that number -- and many more -- are now etched into history, all represented on the championship rings the team received for its historic feat in 2017.

Astros players, coaching staff, support staff, Hall of Famers and top front-office members received their World Series rings during a 20-minute pregame ceremony before the Astros' 10-6 win over the Orioles on Tuesday. The rings brilliantly tell the story of the Astros' postseason glory, while also representing other aspects important to the franchise, including the personality of the city and the challenges Houston faced toward the end of the Astros' memorable run.

"We are incredibly proud of this ring and what it represents for our players, the whole Astros organization and our fans," Astros owner Jim Crane said. "It was important for us to design a ring that reflected just how historic last season truly was."

As is customary at a ring ceremony, Commissioner Rob Manfred was the first to receive his World Series ring. Beforehand, he commended the Astros' long-term vision that led to this moment.

"I think the Astros are just a great example of the fact that you need to have a plan, you need to stick to the plan, and if you do, you maximize your chances of being successful," Manfred said. "Sometimes parts of that plan can be difficult to stay the course. I give Jim Crane and [president] Reid [Ryan] and [general manager] Jeff [Luhnow] tremendous credit for sticking with that plan. Obviously, they have a ballclub that's built to win for a period of time."

The Astros are distributing 1,332 rings to Astros players, coaches, clubhouse and training staff, baseball and business front-office members, medical staff, season associates, Hall of Famers, owners and broadcasters.

Tuesday was just Round 1. A second ceremony, this one private, will be held on the field on the Astros' off-day Thursday, at which time the front-office staffers and others will receive their rings.

"We wanted to make sure that every member of our Astros organization -- from the players to the front office staff to our seasonal associates -- got a ring, because they all contributed to winning Houston's first World Championship," Crane said.

Throughout the ceremony, a group of Houstonians affected by Hurricane Harvey held the Astros' World Series Championship banner in the outfield. A procession of dignitaries began the ceremony, starting with Luhnow, Ryan, assistant general manager of player acquisition Mike Elias and Hall of Famers Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.

Manager AJ Hinch was the first of the uniformed personnel to receive his ring. The last was , the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.

The rings were met with overwhelming approval inside the clubhouse after the team's win over the Orioles on Tuesday.

"Magnificent," said.

"It's awesome," Springer said.

"Honestly, it's the most gorgeous ring I've ever seen," said .

"In fact, I may sleep with mine tonight," Reddick added.

The rings are bright with the Astros' signature orange and blue, and they're dripping with diamonds from all ends. This is where the "by the numbers" game applies -- as is customary with most teams when they win the World Series, there is a strategic meaning behind the number of diamonds included.

In this case, 11 custom-cut baguettes that create the iconic "H" in the Astros logo represent the team's 11 postseason wins. The top of the ring is adorned with 101 diamonds, representing the number of regular-season games won by the Astros in 2017.

When connected with the 11 custom-cut baguettes, the total diamond count reaches 112, the final number of wins the Astros reached to become World Champions. Completing the top of the ring are 56 round diamonds, which encircle the logo and represent the 56 seasons of Astros franchise history leading up to the 2017 World Championship.

On one side of the ring are the players' names, which frame the iconic Houston skyline, designed as a tribute to the Houston fan base that supported the team throughout.

The year side of the ring includes the words "Houston Strong," which became an iconic phrase following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. A single diamond sits atop the Commissioner's Trophy, representing the first World Series victory in franchise history and the first in the state of Texas.

The Roman numeral LVI completes the side of the ring, paying tribute to 56 seasons of Astros history.

The inside of the ring has its own design, too. The results of each playoff series are listed, showing the 3-1 American League Division Series win over the Red Sox, the 4-3 AL Championship Series win over the Yankees and the 4-3 World Series win over the Dodgers.

The arbor of the ring features the Astros' 2017 rallying cry, "Earned History."

Houstonians, Astros fans and the players they cheered on throughout the year may conclude the rings perfectly tell the complete story of an unforgettable season.

"Just putting it on was a unique experience," Hinch said. "What you talk about in the clubhouse is, we want a ring.

"It's this big shiny thing that you immediately put on your hand and feel like a little kid again. This is the reason why you play baseball."