Tony La Russa owes Joe Kelly a (capital D) debt of gratitude.
The Boston Red Sox relief pitcher found the legendary MLB manager’s 2011 World Series ring inside one of his gloves Friday morning. Kelly’s revealed to WEEI’s Rob Bradford how his discovery ended La Russa’s frantic search for his jewelry. The started tale with La Russa taking the field Thursday night at Fenway Park to catch the first pitch from his former boss Roland Hemond prior to the Red Sox vs. New York Yankees game.
“He (La Russa) brought a glove from like 1905, the old pancake with no pocket,” Kelly said. “But then he was like, ‘Seriously, can I borrow one of your gloves?’ So I gave him the glove and he went out and caught the first pitch. I didn?t think about anything because I came back and the glove was in my locker.
“I went the next day to play catch, got my glove out, went out there and started to throw during pitchers’ stretch. I stuck my hand it in and my hand got stuck. It jammed my pinky. I pulled it out right away because it hurt. I thought someone put seeds in my glove to mess with me. But then I looked and I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I spread my glove open and there it was, Tony?s World Series ring. At first, I thought it was a joke, but then 10 seconds later I realized you don?t joke around something like that. It probably means a lot to him so I don?t think he would joke with something that was $50,000.
“That ring is big so I?m assuming he took it off one of his fingers and put in the pinky spot. If you?re wearing a glove a ring can?t fit expect in the pinky finger slot because it’s bigger. So he probably put it on his pinky finger to catch, took his glove off to shake the glove hand, came back and was like, ‘Oh no, where is my ring?’ Then I found out he was searching for it all night.”
La Russa guided the St. Louis Cardinals to victory in the 2011 World Series, the third such triumph in his managerial career.
Kelly tweeted at La Russa on Friday afternoon, telling him he had found something he’s probably looking for. A Red Sox staffer saw Kelly’s tweet and helped reunite manager and ring.