Well, that didn’t take long.
Less than a year since the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, one of those coveted official rings has hit the secondary market. Opening bid: $1,908. Really.
According to a listing from Leland’s Auctions, an unidentified scout has put his ring on the market. The scout’s name is not mentioned in the lot description for the ring — to “honor their anonymity” — but it says his name is engraved on the ring.
“The ring contains 214 diamonds at 5.5 karats, 3 karats of genuine red rubies and 2.5 karats of genuine sapphires,” the listing says. “One side of the ring features the scout’s last name atop the W Flag, created from 31 round white diamonds and a fire blue corundum under stone that forms the ‘W.’
“Includes original Jostens presentational box with light display & etched glass top stating ‘CHICAGO CUBS 2016 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.’ Scout’s name has been kept hidden to honor their anonymity.”
Though the opening bid is $1,908 — a hat tip to the Cubs’ previous World Series title — the listing notes that price “should be easily eclipsed, much easier than the 108 years they had to wait for another world championship.”
Gotta love those clever folks at Leland’s.
When the rings were distributed in April, appraisers estimated they could fetch anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 on the open market.
Here’s where things get even more interesting. When the Cubs handed out those fancy rings in April, they envisioned this day would come. So they issued a memo to recipients — non players — insisting the Cubs reserve the right to buy the overwhelming majority of the rings back for $1, according to a memo obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Those non-player recipients had to sign that waiver to receive their rings.
“We regret the formal nature of this memo, and we do not intend for this information to overshadow our joy in being able to provide this ring to you,” the memo stated. “However, we think it is important to communicate this information to you.”
Those planning to sell “or otherwise transfer your ring,” were required to give the Cubs written notice of “the proposed transaction and a complete accounting of the terms.”
There’s more: “If the Cubs elect not to purchase the ring, then you may transfer it according to the terms you provided to the Cubs; however, each subsequent owner shall also be bound by these terms in the event of a subsequent proposed sale or other transfer.”
The memo made an exception for rings that were given as gifts — say to a child, spouse or grandchild.
“We did do research of other teams and this is not an uncommon practice,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said in April, “This was a very generous offering by the Ricketts family, and we want it to be cherished. We hope people would want to keep and cherish this ring, versus using it as a salable asset.”
The Cubs did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
John Lackey is in the bullpen for the Cubs in the National League Division Series, but he was on the field everywhere Sunday in the form of special T-shirts for his teammates.
Said to be designed and provided by his wife, they feature his No. 41 surrounded by some of his more memorable quotes:
• “I didn’t come here for a haircut.”
• “Big-league wins don’t grow on trees.’’
• “I’m always one out closer to the beer.”
Day and night
Game 3 and perhaps Game 4 will start in the late afternoon. Though Cubs manager Joe Maddon prefers night games, he’s OK with the start times.
“This time of year, I’ll take it,’’ he said. “When you get to this time, I think the energy is going to be there. Plus, we’ve had days off in between.”
Game 4 would become a night game if the Dodgers eliminate the Diamondbacks on Monday in Phoenix.
“My biggest concern is always shadows,” Maddon said. “But it’s the same for both sides. If you’re a hitter, it’s never fun going up there when you can’t see the baseball, even as a catcher.”
This and that
Anthony Rizzo’s sixth career postseason home run Saturday gave him the franchise record. He had been tied with Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler.
• Remember Trea Turner? The Nationals’ leadoff man, who had seven stolen bases against the Cubs during their series in June, is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in this series.