PHILADELPHIA — Eight months after savoring the championship champagne, Nick Punto finally collected his World Series ring.
Punto inked a deal with Boston in the offseason, which kept him from getting his ring alongside his former St. Louis teammates, who knocked off Texas in seven games to capture the championship last fall.
Fortunately for the Punto, his ex-manager, Tony La Russa, made the trek to Philadelphia on Friday to personally hand the ring over.
Many players stash their championship rings away, but Punto said he plans to sport his rather frequently.
"I'm sure I'll wear it for awhile," Punto said. "It was a great experience for me on a personal level to get to the World Series and win it. That's the ultimate goal as a player. To get to do it with a Hall of Fame manager, it made it even that more special for me."
Punto said he chatted with La Russa — who retired from managing the Cardinals this offseason — for about 10 minutes to reminisce about last year's memories. From Punto's vantage point, the former skipper was certainly enjoying his newfound free time.
"He's got baseball in his blood, so I'm sure he'll take a backseat to managing, but he'll be involved in baseball for sure," Punto said. "You can never tell [if he'll return]. I know he was really good at [managing]. I think it's probably a little bit of a shock when it's over, but he seems really content at just being home."
Last season, Punto clubbed one homer and 20 RBIs to help propel the Cardinals to the World Series.