SAN FRANCISCO – Bruce Bochy pulled a prank on a few of his players late in spring training, bringing them into his Scottsdale Stadium office and showing them an inexpensive ring from the Dominican Summer League. He insisted it was a preview of their World Series jewelry to come.
Ha! Pat Burrell, one guy on the Giants who already owned a World Series ring, bit hard at the joke. On Saturday night, he got to show off the real thing on the main center-field scoreboard at AT&T Park.
San Francisco's players, front office members and other staff received their 2010 championship bling by Tiffany & Co. in a pregame ceremony before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals — and oh what an upgrade, coming from those signature blue Tiffany boxes.
They were a surprise to most everybody. Managing partner Bill Neukom asked Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean for their input, but that was about it. For a second straight day the club celebrated the city's first championship since moving West in 1958.
The very first ring went to longtime equipment manager Mike Murphy, who has been with the club since starting as a bat boy in '58. Sabean was next, followed by Bochy.
"This is one you'll want to wear," Bochy said. "I'll wear it all the time. I don't wear jewelry so to speak, but I'll wear this with a lot of pride."
The rings are primarily white gold. The top features the team's "SF" logo set with round diamonds encircled by a bezel of yellow gold flanked by two round diamonds. One side of the ring says 2010 with a yellow gold tower of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The other side features the recipient's name in a ribbon over the World Series trophy.
Within the top of the trophy is one mandarin orange spessartite garnet stone representing San Francisco's title with five diamonds below the trophy's base for the five Giants titles won in New York.
Bochy said the ring ceremony was talked about among the players and that they were anxious for the "emotional" moment.
"It's going to be my best day in professional ball," said Bochy, San Francisco's fifth-year skipper. "It's going to be one of the greatest days in a lot of these players' careers to get a ring. It's going to have very special meaning."
The 55-year-old Bochy had lost 10 of his previous 11 postseason games while managing the San Diego Padres before the remarkable 2010 run by club he referred to as "characters, castoffs and misfits."
Bochy was swept in the 1998 World Series while with San Diego and eliminated in the minimum three games in the 2005 division series by St. Louis, then lost in four games to the Cardinals in the first round the very next year. That '98 team was Bochy's lone pennant in 12 seasons as Padres skipper.
Another special part of the night was Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson's presentation of the Giants' previous five championship souvenir gifts, including three rings. It was the champion New York Giants in 1922 who presented the first World Series ring to players, a tradition that became a staple in 1928 according to Idelson. The Hall has a display at Cooperstown of every ring from 1922 on.
Other offerings in the past were medals, watch fobs or fancy pins or pendants.
"There was nothing I could find on why the Giants did it first or whose idea it was," Idelson said.
Juan Uribe, now with the rival Dodgers, will receive his ring privately Monday when Los Angeles comes to town for a three-game series.