By: Ashley Conley
Why are championship rings such a big deal? There’s one basic answer to this question: because they’re freaking awesome.
One of the many rewards that come with winning a title is the ginormous, usually customized ring full of diamonds and other gems to commemorate the success. The latest example of an incredible championship ring comes from the 2016 MLB World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.
*Warning: the following picture may cause temporary blindness from the amount of bling. Please proceed with caution.* – Just kidding. But seriously, these rings are a thing of beauty.
This particular ring is valued at $30,000-$40,000, according to the Chicago Tribune. Each one consists of 108 diamonds, one for each year since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series, plus an extra 106 diamonds, and multiple karats of red rubies and blue sapphires. This ring is no joke, and basically tops every other ring in recent sports history.
Perhaps the coolest part about championship rings is that the culture doesn’t just exist in the professional leagues. It’s a tradition that’s alive for both high school and collegiate championships and even some youth leagues, like minor league baseball and AAU basketball. Also, rings aren’t only given out for state or national titles, but conference and tournament titles, too.
A lot of folks in the sports world measure the overall success of an athlete or team by prompting this simple question: how many rings do you have? While it’s not entirely common for professional players to win multiple rings throughout their playing careers, some of the greatest of all time have a ridiculous collection to their name. Here’s how the numbers add up:
- 26 NBA players have at least five rings. Bill Russell holds the record with 11.
- Two NFL players have a record five Super Bowl rings, including Tom Brady who recently clinched the 2017 title with the New England Patriots.
- Yogi Berra, a New York Yankees legend, takes the top spot for Major League Baseball with a whopping 10 World Series rings.
- Henri Richard leads all NHL players with 11 rings, all of which were won with the Montreal Canadiens.
When it comes to NCAA teams, here’s how the numbers add up:
- UCLA holds the record for most NCAA D1 men’s basketball championship rings with 11.
- UCONN holds the record for most NCAA D1 women’s basketball national championship rings with 11.
- Alabama holds the record for most NCAA D1 football championship rings with 10. Legendary coach Bear Bryant was at the helm for six of those, which is a record for most titles won by a head coach at that level.
- Texas holds the record for most College Baseball World Series appearances and championship rings with 57 and seven, respectively.
- The University of Michigan holds the record for most NCAA D1 men’s hockey championship rings with nine.
While championship rings are hard to come by, they’re a prized momento that represents a perfect and unforgettable moment in history. Below, check out some of the sports world’s most recent jewelry shown off on social media.
— Bill Bedenbaugh (@OU_CoachB) April 8, 2017
— USI Baseball (@USIBaseball) April 8, 2017
— Princeton Football (@PUTigerFootball) April 8, 2017
— The TigerNet (@clemsonfootball) April 10, 2017
And you can’t forget the look on an athlete’s face when they first see that bling . . . priceless.
— Michael Evangelista (@Michael_2Clutch) April 8, 2017
Props to those who are lucky enough to have earned one of these one-of-a-kind treasures.
Cover Image: diamondcuttersintl.com
Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.