Dodgers’ 2017 National League championship rings hold a lot of pent-up bling

first_img Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching The process takes a few months from start to finish, and a few months more to distribute every last ring. Depending on its wearer, the ring might feature a slight variation on the main design. Hundreds were distributed to Dodgers personnel in the end. That includes everyone from scouts, trainers, minor league coaches and radio engineers to Kenta Maeda’s interpreter.“Those are all people who contributed,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said. “If they weren’t important they wouldn’t be here. For the 25 players I have up here, I need 200 people in the minor leagues. They need coaches and they need scouts.”At the end of last year, the Dodgers determined that each full-time employee deserved one karat’s worth of diamonds. For a franchise that went 29 years between World Series appearances, and 29 years between rings, it was a modest expenditure for a not-so-modest piece of jewelry.Roving instructor Jose Vizcaino has four rings now. His 2017 Dodgers ring joins those of the 2006 Cardinals, the 2005 Astros and the 2000 Yankees in his personal collection. Was this one the best?“No,” he said. “This year’s is going to be the best.” Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury The genuine white diamonds stare out like tiny beacons, bright enough to blind a man on a sunny day. They are set in the shape of the Dodgers’ interlocking “LA” logo against a background of blue sapphires, outlined by white gold, and surrounded by a squircle. The face of the ring contains 88 diamonds in all. They point to the heavens if you’re wearing the ring correctly, though one Dodgers player was not quite sure. He’d never been to the World Series before last year.“I just put it on for the first time yesterday, actually,” pitcher Josh Fields said. “It’s nice.”Fields said he probably will not wear his ring again until the season is over. Others were not so patient.Manny Mota said he rotates all his baseball rings weekly, one at a time. Scout Mike Brito apparently believes life is too short for weekly rotations; the 2017 ring is one of five he wears to the ballpark every day – a metal detector’s nightmare. Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin prefers to not divide a potential handshaker’s attention. He recently slipped off his 1988 World Series ring, slipped on the 2017 ring, and now wears it almost every day.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I wore the other one for 20 years,” Jarrin said, “so it was tired.”As a franchise, the Dodgers were tired of waiting for a reason to celebrate. They lost the 2017 World Series in seven games, but they wear the kind of jewelry afforded a champion. The blingy face of each ring is just the beginning.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.The words “2017 National League Champions” surround the outer edge, encircled by another row of tiny white diamonds. Each side of the ring is engraved, too. One side contains four separate marks: the Dodgers’ logo in the middle, the words “THIS TEAM!” in one corner, the MLB logo in another, and a hexagon in the shape of a Dodger Stadium scoreboard around the team’s record – 104-58.The other side holds an elaborate, hidden gem. The ring-bearer’s name is engraved on the top. Another hexagonal scoreboard, this one containing an interlocking “LA,” occupies the bottom. In between lies a textured image of Dodger Stadium itself – mountains in the background, home plate in the foreground. Imagine carrying MLB’s largest stadium around on your hand every day. No wonder so many players and coaches lock their rings in a safe.Historically, the ring is where imagination and celebration intertwine. The Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series rings reportedly held 214 diamonds at 5.5 karats, 33 rubies, 46 sapphires, and one engraved goat. The 2003 Florida Marlins’ rings featured a teal diamond in the eye. The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers cleverly embedded 216 small diamonds in honor of the local area code. What’s in a ring? The mind’s eye limits an owner more than his budget. The Dodgers did not win the championship last year. While flags fly forever, diamond-encrusted jewelry is certainly as durable. The 2017 ring had to make a lasting statement. This was the challenge facing Guggenheim Baseball Management at the end of last season.To execute their concept, the Dodgers’ owners did not look far. Jason Arasheben grew up in Calabasas and attended UCLA. Known professionally as Jason of Beverly Hills, the jeweler has made a broad impact in the sports world by deftly lifting a finger. “I wasn’t very good at sports growing up,” he said via email, “so I watched a lot more than I played.” His championship clients include the Lakers in 2010, the World Series of Poker and, more recently, the Golden State Warriors.Arasheben conceded that teams “are beginning to compete with each other as to the overall size of the ring.”“The Lakers were the first sports team we designed a ring for,” he said. “Championship rings are pretty traditional, but they are meant to be big. It also depends on the team’s taste. Some teams like a more flashy ring. With technology we’re able to get more detailed with the designs, and teams really appreciate when you fit as many hidden meanings into the ring as possible so it tells the story of the season.”The designer has less creative license than one might think. Nothing, Arasheben said, goes into each ring that the team (specifically, its owner) did not approve. When Walter O’Malley sat down at the end of the 1981 season, the Dodgers’ owner decided to give the players’ wives charm bracelets, and all full-time employees received small replicas of the World Series trophy along with their rings.Dodgers chairman Mark Walter was intimately involved in the process this time, along with only a few others in the inner circle of the Dodgers’ upper management. Arasheben said he received an image of Dodger Stadium to work with and used a 3D program to create the graphic that was engraved onto the side of the ring.“I always try to capture the essence of either the team or the individual in any design I do,” he said.Related Articles Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense last_img