“This is insane. I can’t take my eyes off of it.”
Those were the words Nick Swisher used to describe his first World Series ring moments after receiving it earlier today.
The World Series ring was actually the second piece of jewelry the right fielder was given today — the first was an inexpensive give-away, which his teammates slipped into his ring box as a practical joke.
For Swisher and every other Yankees player and coach — even those who already have several rings — today is an unforgettable day.
It’s Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, and it’s ring day.
In an emotional pre-game ceremony, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford presented Joe Girardi with the first World Series ring he won as a manager. Girardi then presented the team with their hardware.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many happy faces in one place,” Ford said. “Between Yogi and I, we’ve got almost 20 rings, but it never gets old.”
Yankees head athletic trainer Gene Monahan, who has not been with the team due to a serious illness, was on hand today. He received his ring from Girardi — and a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd.
As the Yankees coaches and players took hold of their rings, they ALL gravitated to and hugged the teary-eyed Monahan.
The final ring of the day was presented to Hideki Matsui — currently of the Anaheim Angels. When Matsui received his ring, the entire Yankees team converged on the middle of the baseball diamond and embraced the 2009 World Series MVP.
The word “unity” is inscribed on the 2009 World Series ring, and it belongs there.
The 2009 squad emerged victorious because of the cohesiveness they took to the field every day. Their show of support for Monahan and Matsui earlier today exemplified unity in every way, and it was the perfect reminder as to why the 2009 New York Yankees were World Champions.
–Alfred Santasiere III