Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Give that Girl a Standing O

I answer questions on baseball trivia at Have been doing so for a number of years--I'll have to check sometime to see exactly how long it's been, but it's a few years now. I love doing research and finding answers for just about anything, but baseball is surely one of my favorite things to search out answers in. So . . . I  get this question this evening about World Series rings. I suppose you know that the team that wins the World Series gets a ring. Everybody on the team and everybody connected with the team gets a ring. They're provided by the winning league, and today, encrusted with precious stones and (usually) studded with diamonds, they are worth thousands of dollars. The ring pictured here is the one the Philadelphia Phillies received for their 2008 World Series triumph. As you might imagine, these are treasured items for the people who own them. Can you imagine actually earning on of these and then losing it? Which brings us to our story.

Kudos and plaudits for 11-year old Kate Drury of Chatham, NJ. Somebody lost a World Series ring and she found it, and she tracked down the owner and returned it. The World Series in question took place 50 years ago, 1960, between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it was one of the most memorable on record. The first ever to be ended by a walk-off home run (Bill Mazerowski's homer to left) and one in which the hated Yankees scored a bizillion runs and still managed to lose the Series. But I digress. Fifth-grader Kate found a Pittsburgh Pirates World Series ring under a snack bar table in a hockey rink in nearby Morristown, NJ. Turns out it belonged to one Merrill Hess, now 82, who had been associate director of scouting for the Pirates back then. He was "heartbroken" when he discovered his loss. For her honesty--she and her dad returned the ring personally to Mr. Hess--she got a check, a gift certificate, and a signed 1960 World Series photo. The found ring got posted on Yahoo! Answers. When you think about it, it's kinda miraculous that Hess was able to find out that somebody had found his ring this way. It was his son that saw the notice . . . what are the odds?

Anyway. Hooray for Kate! Honesty is the best policy. It is never wrong.
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