A small, black box arrived at Nationals Park today and wound up in Davey Johnson's office. The Nationals manager then had the pleasure of presenting it to its true owner: Edwin Jackson, who at long last received his 2011 World Series ring.
Jackson, a member of the Cardinals' championship rotation last fall, became a free agent after the season and signed a one-year, 11 million contract with the Nationals on Feb. 1. Unable to attend the Cardinals' official ring ceremony at Busch Stadium because he had to be with his new team, Jackson had the item sent to him in Washington.
Once he got his first actual look at the 2.62-carat ring, which boasts 50 rubies and 103 diamonds, Jackson experienced a rush of emotions.
"To hold it, not only getting to look at it in pictures, to hold a piece of history in your hand, it's in your possession finally," he said. "The waiting and anticipation is over."
Jackson proudly showed off the ring to teammates and reporters in the Nationals' clubhouse, most of whom have never owned one of their own. One of the few uniformed personnel who could relate, though, was Johnson.
A two-time World Series winner as a player with the Orioles in 1966 and 1970, and a winner as manager of the Mets in 1986, Johnson recalled how his old ring was so small it could fit comfortably on his pinkie finger. The 69-year-old skipper was taken aback by the 2011 ring.
"It was shockingly beautiful and big," he said. "That's what we're here for. That's what we're all dreaming about."