Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony
World Series champs receive jewelry featuring Golden Gate Bridge, trophies
SAN FRANCISCO -- For those who believe that the Giants' recent success has been a gift from heaven, Saturday's ceremony featuring distribution of the 2014 World Series championship rings included a fitting touch.
The first batch of rings -- which included those given to executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy -- arrived courtesy of four skydivers who parachuted into AT&T Park's outfield.
As expected, the special features of the rings, which were designed and produced by Tiffany & Co., evoked what has made the Giants special, from their accomplishments to the city they represent.
The Giants issued a news release detailing the composition of each 14-karat white gold ring. Predictably, the familiar "SF" logo is emblazoned on the ring's face, set in 18-karat yellow gold with 55 round melee diamonds. A bezel proclaiming "World Champions" is highlighted along both sides of the ring.
The top and bottom bezels are decorated with three and five round diamonds, respectively, emblematic of the team's three titles in the last five years and the franchise's eight total World Series triumphs.
One side of the ring features the recipient's name (and jersey number, for uniformed personnel) with a depiction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The other side is dominated by a rendering of the Giants' three recent World Series trophies.
As players received their rings, fans reserved their loudest cheers for Hunter Pence, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum and, of course, Madison Bumgarner, Most Valuable Player in the National League Championship Series and the World Series.
Broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow provided eloquence. Said Kuiper, "It's not a hug, it's not a handshake, it's not a pat on the back. It's a ring -- the one thing every professional athlete wants." Krukow defined the significance of the rings, declaring that they convey the message, "You'll never forget."
As classy as the event was, from the six white limousines that coasted into the ballpark bearing the majority of the rings to the oversized Tiffany boxes used as props, some of the ceremony's most priceless moments were unscripted.
A prime example was Hall of Fame right-hander Gaylord Perry assisting Willie Mays, who needs no introduction, by helping him to his seat, buttoning his coat and supporting him with his big throwing arm as they stood for "The Star-Spangled Banner." Fellow Hall of Famers Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda also were present.
Additionally, members of the Arizona Diamondbacks displayed class by applauding most of the Giants, particularly Bochy and the Hall of Fame quintet.
And when the national anthem was performed by Tim Flannery, the popular third-base coach whose retirement from baseball this past offseason tasted bittersweet, you knew that a special year at once had been celebrated and given a proper farewell.