Last winter, just a few months prior to the 25th anniversary season of the 1990 World Series–winning Cincinnati Reds, one of the team’s custom championship rings was auctioned off by online estate seller Everything But the House (EBTH). Unworn and in pristine condition, it fetched $16,000 at auction—more than five times the ring’s $3,000 material value.
Brian Graves, chief learning officer for EBTH, estimates as many as 400 Reds players, coaches, and staff received rings in 1990, but this is just the fourth to be auctioned off to the public. “It goes back to that once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be a part of something you were passionate about. It’s unique for one of them to come up for sale,” Graves says. “It’s such a personal thing, an item that usually stays within the family or goes to a museum.”