ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves finally have their bling, and yes, pearls are involved.
Just before the first pitch of the game Saturday night against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park, members of Atlanta’s front office, coaching staff and roster were given their World Series rings celebrating last season’s championship.
In all, 24 current players received rings for their efforts as part of the 2021 team.
« Honestly, when they first showed it to me, I was like, ‘God.’ I was just — my jaw dropped open and I couldn’t give them anything, » manager Brian Snitker said.
Snitker was given a preview of the ring design before it was cut. When he was asked what he’d change and improve on the sample he was shown, he was so wowed that he was rendered speechless.
Even finally putting the actual ring on his finger during the pregame ceremony left him in awe.
« I’ll probably go home tonight and get it under a nice light and put my glasses on and look at it up close, » Snitker said following the Braves’ 2-1 win over the Reds.
« This ring, I could just go on and on. I mean, it’s like everything is something in that ring. Everything has a meaning, which is really cool. »
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 9, 2022
Atlanta’s Game 6 win over the Houston Astros last November clinched the organization’s fourth World Series trophy, and second since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966. The Braves had last won the World Series in 1995.
During the Saturday pregame ceremony, ring recipients walked from the Braves dugout onto a red carpet that led to a stage that had been positioned in front of the pitcher’s mound. Each of the rings came inside a black box.
The night’s starting pitcher, Kyle Wright, had to wait until after he exited the game before trying on his ring. He said it felt heavy and was a little tight on his finger.
« I really haven’t gotten a really long look at it, » Wright said.
But from the little he had seen, was there a favorite part?
« All of it, » Wright said, laughing. « All of it was really cool. I don’t know if I can pick one specific thing. But just the detail. Everything they did in it was awesome. I feel like they definitely did it right for sure. »
Each ring prominently features the Braves’ « A » logo in 18.71-karat white gold, a nod to the franchise’s founding in 1871.
The ring features a removable top. Upon opening, it lights up with micro-LED lights that illuminate a miniature Truist Park that’s positioned inside the ring. The interior ballpark features the No. 44 on its outfield grass, in recognition of a tribute the actual ballpark had all season following the death of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron earlier in the year. Aaron wore No. 44.
Aaron’s historic 755 career home runs are represented on the ring. There are a total of 755 diamonds on it.
« There’s a lot of Hank in that ring, » Snitker said, « which is the way it should be. »
Players from the winning team, including current San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson, had input in designing the ring. Even Pederson’s pearl necklace, which he wore throughout Atlanta’s postseason run, is represented in the ring’s design. Each ring boasts a single pearl in recognition of the phenomenon fans latched onto all last fall.
During the playoffs, fans followed Pederson’s lead and wore pearls to the ballpark. Local schools even encouraged children to wear pearl necklaces as the excitement over the team’s run grew.
After walking off the podium with their new rings Saturday, excited players huddled in groups on the infield, comparing rings, snapping photos with their phones and showing them off to the cameras connected to the in-stadium video board.
Snitker admitted this week he likely wouldn’t wear his ring very much.
« Maybe when you get dressed up and special occasions, » the manager said. « I’m not a big ring wearer. But I’m still going to be very proud of it and display it. »
After the ceremony, however, he backtracked slightly.
« Honestly, in the right situation, » Snitker said, « it’s wearable. »
The ring ceremony Saturday came after the Braves unveiled their championship pennant Thursday night and honored their 2021 individual award winners in a pregame ceremony Friday.