Dodgers get WS rings: 'That was awesome'

April 10th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- It was a celebration 32 years in the making.

After snapping the organization’s 32-year championship drought, the Dodgers received their 2020 World Series rings before Friday’s home opener against the Nationals. And after a year without fans in the stands, the team was able to celebrate with a limited sold-out crowd.

“I think that the Dodgers, [chief marketing officer] Lon Rosen in particular and his staff, they nailed it,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after a 1-0 win. “The bar has been raised on ring ceremonies.”

Dodger players, who were wearing special jerseys and hats, were introduced to the crowd in alphabetical order. As expected, Clayton Kershaw got the biggest introduction, as the future Hall of Famer finally got his first World Series ring. Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager were also recipients of loud applause from the crowd.

“That was awesome,” Turner said, on Kershaw getting his first ring. “From the dugout, I couldn’t really tell but it looked like he was getting a little emotional, which he should. I was so happy for him, obviously. That’s why I kept my glasses on, I didn’t want to let anybody see me getting emotional underneath there.”

One special touch for the players was that their favorite players growing up introduced them to the crowd. Betts was introduced by Jimmy Rollins; Bellinger got Chase Utley; David Ortiz welcomed Julio Urías; and Edwin Ríos was introduced by Ichiro Suzuki, who told him, in Spanish, to give him his ring since the legendary outfielder never won one during his career.

Bronson Arroyo also introduced Walker Buehler with a rendition of “Wonderwall” by Oasis.

“I haven’t seen it, but I heard it’s pretty good,” Buehler said. “I figured he would do a good job with it, and from what I hear, he certainly did.”

And in an emotional moment, Laura Lasorda, the daughter of the late Tommy Lasorda, introduced Roberts, the first Dodgers manager to bring a championship to Los Angeles since Tommy.

“I thought that was great,” Roberts said. “Obviously to bring Tommy back to Dodger Stadium today. I got a little choked up when I was thinking about Tommy not being here.”

As the players, coaches and staff members were called, they were met by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and team president Stan Kasten. They each received a ring, one that didn’t lack any flash.

The top of the ring features the traditional LA logo crafted from 17 custom-cut genuine sapphires atop a baseball diamond. Inside the diamond, there are 29 diamonds, representing the number of home runs hit by the Dodgers in the postseason bubble. Another 16 custom-cut sapphires and a halo of 44 diamonds surround the logo and diamond. The words “World Champions” are also atop the ring.

“Seeing the ring and being part of the ring ceremony, it was really special to be a part of,” said catcher Will Smith. “Just looking at the ring, it was way bigger than I thought it would be. You knew it was going to be a big ring and you knew it was going to be pretty sweet, but actually getting to hold it, see it and see your name and number on it, was pretty special.”

On the side of the rings, there are 96 more diamonds. On the top and bottom edges, the ring has six princess-cut diamonds in pennants, representing the previous six World Series teams. There are also 12 sapphires on both edges of the ring, accounting for the 12 home runs hit by the Dodgers in the World Series against the Rays.

“It’s just very simple and clean-cut and it just looks really nice,” Turner said. “I like all the details in it, it’s pretty cool to see the series wins on the inside and the signature on the bottom. … I thought they did a great job.”

Down the left side of the ring, it features the recipient’s name and their uniform number in all diamonds. On the right side of the ring, there’s a gold Commissioner’s Trophy, topped off with a single diamond. The eight round sapphires represent the eight consecutive National League West division titles won by the Dodgers.

The ring also comes with some personalized touches. The inside of the ring features the player's signature. It also has a blue enamel LA logo along with the Dodgers’ postseason results against the Brewers, Padres, Braves and Rays. The custom box is also personalized. There’s a rotating ring platform that spins when the box is opened and an interior light to showcase the ring. But perhaps the most impressive part is that the ring box has a LCD screen that plays a four-minute season highlight video of the team’s historic run in an unprecedented season.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to watch the entire thing yet,” Turner said. “But that’s something that I’ll probably sit down when I get home and watch the whole thing, probably a couple of times.”

In total, the championship rings feature approximately 222 round diamonds, 10 princess-cut diamonds, 45 custom-cut sapphires and eight round sapphires. Overall, each ring weighs 11 carats.

The championship ring, which was designed by Jostens, received rave reviews from players and coaches.

“I don’t know if I can pull it off with the size of it,” Roberts laughed. “But something that was 32 years in the making. They got it right.”

And for all involved, it was well worth the wait.