Next to the feeling of accomplishment and having eternal bragging rights, the best thing about winning a championship is wearing the bling.
Last year the Sugar Land Skeeters won the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball championship and on Opening Day, April 25, the team will receive their championship rings in a pre-game ceremony. Fans will also be able to share in the celebration as the team gives out replica rings to the first 2,000 people through the gates at Constellation Field that day.
The Skeeters staff members are already wearing their shiny, bejeweled rings which they received in a private ceremony a few weeks ago. They’re a perfect complement to the rings earned in 2016 and will go nicely with the rings the team hopes to have next year. The rings are made in Houston at Uptown Diamond and Jewelry in the Galleria area.
“We worked with Uptown Diamond in 2016 and went back to them,” said Chris Parsons, the Skeeters vice president of sponsorship sales. “We felt comfortable with that relationship. Good guys, small company, they take good care of you. We just felt that personal touch going with them.”
“The ring is cast in Durilium, which is our proprietary mix of metal alloys, and weighs in at approximately 65 grams,” said Kevin Gordon, co-founder and principal at Uptown Diamond. “The ring is set with computer aided and calibrated cubic zirconias and the State of Texas is set with computer aided and calibrated/treated blue sapphires.
“It has 27 clear stones and 21 that make up the state of Texas,” Parsons said. “Uptown Diamond is more known for their diamonds, they’re more of an engagement ring type, so they partner with Baron Rings who’s known for their championship rings. They’ve done all of UT’s (University of Texas) rings and Barons did the Cavaliers championship rings, so they’re pretty well known.”
“It was an honor to design and craft this championship ring for the Sugar Land Skeeters and we have valued our relationship with the organization and look forward to working with the Skeeters in the future,” Gordon said. “It is always extra special to work with local teams and organization on rings like this one.”
Parsons said he and a few others on staff came up with the design for the rings. He said it was important to feature the Skeeters logo and the state of Texas.
“We wanted to, being the only team in Texas down here, incorporate that into the ring. The other ring (in 2016) had the SL logo, so we wanted to put the official Skeeters logo on it,” he said.
There is also a special touch inside the ring.
“On the inside, for those who were here for the playoff series, all the games were nail-biters, so on the inside of the ring we incorporated all the scores,” Parsons said.
One of the players who will be receiving his second Skeeters championship ring is catcher Albert Cordero. He recently received a sneak peek at the rings.
“The ring’s really, really awesome,” he said. “That looks like big league and everything. The logo on front and everything, it’s really, really awesome.”
Parsons said the Skeeters ordered about 100 of the custom rings.
“We were about 40 in front office and ownership, 40 with the baseball team, and then the mayors got some, and key stakeholders we definitely took care of,” he said.
That list includes everyone from the owners to the bat boys, trainers, and medical staff.
“As of right now we’re not going to let the public order them. Season ticket holders can order them but we’re not letting the general public order them. If they want to get them we’re selling them for $500 to our season ticket holders and sponsors,” Parsons said.
The replica rings to be given away on Opening Day will be very similar to the real rings. The main difference is that on the side where the player’s name would go there will be the name and logo of Constellation, which is sponsoring the giveaway. Depending on the success of the replica rings, the Skeeters may do another round.
“As of right now we’re just targeting one date, but we might be like the Astros and do at least another one. I don’t think we’ll do seven other dates,” Parsons said, referring to the Houston Astros replica ring giveaways last year.