Put a ring on it: A look into how FAU’s championship rings were made, and what the players think of them

Zack Kelberman

Outfielder Geoff Jimenez and pitcher Bo Logan model the 2012 Sun Belt championship rings. The Owls are projected to repeat as champions in 2013 by Baseball America and the Sun Belt coach’s poll. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
Outfielder Geoff Jimenez and pitcher Bo Logan model the 2012 Sun Belt championship rings. The Owls are projected to repeat as champions in 2013 by Baseball America and the Sun Belt coach’s poll. Photo by Michelle Friswell.
For FAU baseball’s achievements last season — winning the Sun Belt Conference regular season title — the team was awarded with its ceremonial rings.

Gaudy, flashy, in-your-face rings.

“We wanted a big, gold ring,” former Owls second baseman Mike Albaladejo said. “This ring is literally two times bigger than the previous one, with more diamonds, your name, and all that. It’s completely obnoxious when you wear it.”

Albaladejo, who signed to the Washington Nationals’ minor league club in 2012, lent a hand in redesigning the hardware. Left unsatisfied with the prior year’s model, Albaladejo and teammate Alex Hudak each pitched their ideas to head coach John McCormack.

The ensuing result left the braintrust in awe.

“I absolutely loved the way it came out,” Albaladejo gushed. “We thought we deserved something like that because a championship was hard to come by. Mac was able to incorporate a lot of our opinions on the ring. I thought that was great.”

“I just wanted everybody to know what we did,” Hudak said. “So when I saw that big No. 1, I knew everyone would know what we did. I really liked the way it turned out. It gets the point across.”

McCormack, however, was taken aback by the sheer size of the ring. Despite facilitating the change, he prefers more substance over style.

“It turned out to be a little too big,” McCormack said. “In the email pictures it didn’t look that way. It was funny. The ring we got in 2010, the silver one, that one looked big and kind of like ‘oh my God’ on email, and then when you got it, it was like, ‘oh, OK’. And this one was in exact reverse.”

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The Owls’ 2010 championship rings are less flashy than the current gaudy, gold models, re-designed by former Owls teammates Mike Albaladejo and Alex Hudak.
The Owls’ 2010 championship rings are less
flashy than the current gaudy, gold models,
re-designed by former Owls teammates
Mike Albaladejo and Alex Hudak.
The Owls’ 2012 championship rings were manufactured by Jostens, a Minnesota-based company that produces high-end jewelry and other commemorative items. They’ve done everything from high school yearbooks to professional championship memorabilia, including the 2012 Miami Heat’s ring and various Super Bowl rings.

Jostens’ craftsmanship is certainly appreciated by FAU’s players.

“They’re awesome,” infielder Mitch Morales said. “I really do cherish mine. It means a whole lot to me just to have one.”

“It’s amazing,” outfielder Geoff Jimenez said. “So proud to have one and hopefully we can get another.”