SBD/April 16, 2012/Franchises

Cardinals Receive '11 World Series Rings; Design Includes Rally Squirrel

One side of ring features Cardinals' "Rally Squirrel" jumping over home plate
The MLB Cardinals presented the '11 World Series Championship rings to players during a ceremony before Saturday's home game against the Cubs. The ring features the Cardinals' bird-on-bat logo made of faceted red rubies and surrounded by a 14 karat white gold frame. The bird is surrounded by 103 round diamonds, and the rest of the ring is made of 14 karat yellow gold. The phrase "WORLD CHAMPIONS" appears around the logo, with diamonds set behind the words. One side of the ring features the player's name, number and a ruby-filled "StL" emblem surrounded by the World Series leaf design that was used in the '11 version of the MLB Fall Classic logo. That side also features the Cardinals' "Rally Squirrel" jumping over home plate. The opposite side of the ring features Busch Stadium's Gate 3 bridge, including the Stan Musial Statue underneath, with a ruby-embellished "11" above the phrase "World Series Titles" (Cardinals). In St. Louis, Derrick Goold noted the Cardinals' ring may be the "first championship ring to feature a squirrel." Any player who "appeared in a single game last year for the team will receive" a ring. The ring's design also features the "results of all three 2011 playoff rounds" engraved on the inside of the ring, including the logos of the opponents. Beneath the results is the phrase "HAPPY FLIGHT." Goold noted the "facet of the ring that could start a trend is the shadowbox-like effect behind 'WORLD CHAMPIONS.'" Team President Bill DeWitt III called this the ring's "bling factor" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/15).

LEAVING A LEGACY: In St. Louis, Joe Strauss wrote if Cardinals Chair Bill DeWitt Jr. "consistently conveys a long-term vision, it is not by accident." DeWitt insists that he and his group's "control of the franchise is open-ended." Rather than "seek to cash out on a franchise that has more than quadrupled in value since it was purchased, DeWitt frames the club as a long-term hold by him, his partners and their families." He said, "Obviously from my family's perspective we've talked about it. From our perspective, the next generation is very interested in continuing on past me. We have no interest in divesting." DeWitt intends for his children, Bill III and Donna DeWitt Lambert, to "remain among the investment group long after his stewardship ends." A number of other investors also "have long-standing ties to the franchise." DeWitt said, "It's not something I think about on a daily bases but you get to a certain age and there is estate planning to do. In our case, it will not involve selling our interest" in the club. He added, "If we were going to sell, we wouldn't have put all that money into a new facility. That was more for the future than for the present. It was a big commitment" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/15).
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