Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa has enough rings from his baseball career to nearly fill one hand. He was a three-time World Series champion as a manager, winning one with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals during the early 2000s. Of course, his Hall of Fame induction in 2014 came with a ring too, bringing his total to four.
As we learned on Friday, it can be a chore to keep track of that much precious jewelry. Though the place where La Russa essentially lost one of his Cardinals World Series rings was pretty shocking.
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly took to Twitter Friday afternoon to reveal La Russa’s World Series ring was actually wedged inside his glove.
How did Tony La Russa’s World Series ring end up in Joe Kelly’s glove?
According to Kelly, La Russa borrowed his glove for the first pitch ceremony before Thursday’s 15-7 win against the New York Yankees
La Russa was on hand not to throw out the first pitch. He actually caught it from former MLB executive Roland Hemond, who was being honored by the Red Sox. Hemond, who worked many years for the Chicago White Sox, is credited with helping to launch La Russa’s career and also the career of Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
La Russa now serves as vice president and special assistant to Dombrowski with the Red Sox, which in a sense has brought their careers full circle.
Is Joe Kelly’s story to be believed?
There’s always a kernel of doubt with stories like this. But this one seems legit. La Russa did need a glove after all to catch the first pitch. Who better to bother than a relief pitcher?
Kelly did work one scoreless inning during Thursday’s game, so one might wonder why he didn’t reveal La Russa’s mishap following the game. The answer is, he probably didn’t even know. MLB players typically have game gloves and warm up gloves, so the glove with La Russa’s ring was likely tucked away in his locker room until Friday’s discovery.
We’re assuming La Russa realized the ring was missing too. But why would anyone think to check the glove?
In the end, it makes for a pretty funny story for all involved. Well, unless Kelly was serious about the trillion-dollar finder’s fee.