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Hammel, Soler and Wood receive WS rings

Trio of former Cubs at Wrigley on off-day for Royals
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Jason Hammel, Jorge Soler and Travis Wood took a one-day break from the Royals to receive the World Series rings they won last year with the Cubs during a pregame ceremony Monday night at Wrigley Field.

The trio, who wore Cubs jerseys with gold lettering, received the rings from president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and manager Joe Maddon.

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CHICAGO -- Jason Hammel, Jorge Soler and Travis Wood took a one-day break from the Royals to receive the World Series rings they won last year with the Cubs during a pregame ceremony Monday night at Wrigley Field.

The trio, who wore Cubs jerseys with gold lettering, received the rings from president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and manager Joe Maddon.

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"Last year was one to remember, for sure," Wood said. "I don't think anybody will forget it. I sure won't. It was fun."

Monday was an off-day for the Royals, and the two teams arranged for the three players to receive their rings at Wrigley rather than wait until next week when the Royals are in Chicago to play the White Sox. The Cubs are trying to present as many rings as possible to the players in front of Cubs fans, so Dexter Fowler was expected to get his in June when the Cardinals come to town, and Aroldis Chapman and Adam Warren will receive their rings in early May when the Yankees play an Interleague series at Wrigley Field.

Wood and Hammel left via free agency, while Soler was traded to the Royals for closer Wade Davis.

Wood, 30, spent eight seasons with the Cubs, and was the longest tenured player on the World Series roster. He's seen a lot more down years.

"It was a long journey," Wood said. "To see the payoff, to still be here and see the payoff was something I'll cherish."

Maddon saw the lefty in the food room of the home clubhouse before batting practice.

"Travis walked in, and it's like, 'OK, how do you feel for today?'" Maddon said. "It's just very, very normal. ... The weird thing about that is it's like he belongs here. It's not even weird -- there's nothing awkward about it. That's not normal. When a guy from another team walks in your locker room, even though he may have been with you in the past, it's still awkward."

Wood was popular among his Cubs teammates, not just the relievers.

"I think it's a combination of the closeness and just who he is," Maddon said. "His personality draws you in. He is a wonderful teammate, he is easy to be with. He's so supportive of everybody around him. He's got all the attributes you're looking for. I guess the time frame hasn't been that long that we haven't seen him here. It was very easy to say hello to him."

Wood toured the new bullpens and said hello to as many people as he could. But the lefty wasn't available for the game.

"We can't use him tonight," Maddon said, smiling.

"Seeing the guys and all the 'Hi's' and 'miss you' was pretty special," Wood said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs