Nowadays it is very common when a team wins the World Series, its players will get a huge ring. In the early days, the players got some kind of commemoration but it was nowhere close to one of those gargantuan rings.
In the first years of Major League Baseball, players got some kind of pin or brooches. Sometimes a pocket watch was handed out to the winning players. Here are some examples.
The Baltimore Orioles won the NL pennant in 1894, 1895 and 1896. With the first two wins, the adornment the players got was nothing more like a small pin. When the team threepeated, the players got another pin but this one was made of gold with some inlaid gems, one for each championship.
The very first team to win the World Series, the Boston Americans / Pilgrims, received a kind of pendant.
The first pocket watch reared its head when the Chicago Cubs won their second World Series title in a row in 1908. The watch was accompanied by a pin with an inlaid ruby.
The first ring appeared in 1914 when the Miracle Braves swept the highly favored Philadelphia Athletics.
In the following years, players would get a pendant or a pin.
The New York Giants would give its players a ring in 1922.
The New York Yankees handed out a pocket watch to its players when they won their first World Series title in 1923.
In the following two years, a pin and a pendant were handed out.
From 1926, when the St. Louis Cardinals won their first championship, rings were handed out. But next to the 1926 ring, the Cards also got another pendant.
Even though not every club did this, it was a common thing to put the club logo on the side of the ring. But the Philadelphia Athletics had a novelty in 1930 as they put the elephant logo on top of the ring, something that would not return until 1974 when the Oakland Athletics put the A’s logo on top of the ring.
The 1930 ring of the Athletics was accompanied by another pocket watch.
In the following years, not every club put its logo on top of the rings. Only the 1977 Yankees, the 1979 Pirates, the 1980 Phillies, the 1983 Orioles, the 1987 Twins, the 1990 Reds, and the 1992 and 1993 Blue Jays did so.
But since the 1996 World Series win of the Yankees, all winners have put their logo on top of the ring.
If this blog post has drawn your interest into World Series rings, you better visit the following website: http://worldseriesrings.net/ from where these photos were taken.
It is quite a treasure chest with photos of every possible MLB championship adornment.