Astros Pull World Series Ring from Being Auctioned, Despite COVID-19 Relief Pledge
Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: A detailed shot of the Houston Astros 2017 World Series Championship rings.
The first 2017 Houston Astros World Series ring to hit the open market has been pulled.
Auctioneer Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions told The Action Network Wednesday that he pulled the ring and returned it back to his consignor after the Astros contacted his company.
The team made Goldin aware that they made all those who got a ring sign an agreement that forbade them from selling it without first offering it back to the team for $1.
“I typically let lawyers handle these situations, but I got involved to implore them that we were donating all the money to (COVID-19) charities and offered to allow us to continue and give them credit for the donation,” Goldin said. “They did not seem to care.”
Goldin first pledged to donate a portion of all proceeds from the auction to COVID-19 relief prior to hearing from the Astros to pull the ring. A representative for the team did not immediately return an e-mail asking for comment.
Goldin said the sale could have generated up to $30,000.
The ring originally belonged to former Astros scout David Brito, and when he sold the ring to the person who consigned it to Goldin, Brito represented that his sale was not bound by any previous agreement. The Astros produced documentation of Brito’s signed agreement.
The idea that players and employees do not fully outright own the rings is not a new one. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs said that the rings they gave, which might be worth up to $250,000 depending on which player owned the ring, had to be offered back to the Cubs for $1 before they could be sold.
The Astros ring was the subject of much talk in the industry because the Astros admitted to sign stealing that season. Astros manager A.J. Hinch, Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was the bench coach in 2017, and new New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who was a player on the 2017 team, were all fired.
While none of the Astros players were sanctioned and MLB did not take away the team’s title, many felt like the title was tainted.