(See the UPDATE below, because this got even weirder.)
Not that this needs to become this big drama or anything, but when the Cubs World Series ring for a former World Series MVP appears on the auction block, it’s going to generate a lot of interest.
So it was with Heritage Auction’s announcement that Ben Zobrist’s World Series ring would be up for auction later this year. Note that there was never an announcement that Zobrist, himself, was auctioning off the ring, as it may have been related to a divorce settlement or some other series of transactions. To that end, a Heritage spokesperson told the Kansas City Star that, indeed, it isn’t Zobrist who is selling the ring – it’s one of their collector clients:
Robert Wilonsky, the communications director for Heritage Auctions, said the ring had previously been sold by Zobrist.
“The ring was consigned by somebody who says he bought it from Ben Zobrist,” Wilonsky said. “I don’t know when and I don’t know for how much. I’ll certainly learn those things over the next little while. But the consigner is a client of Heritage’s who is a collector of championship hardware. Not somebody whose name you necessarily know but somebody who does collect title rings, bracelets and things like that.
“This is someone who has great familiarity with and affection for these kinds of items.”
How and why the original sale took place, again, I don’t want to speculate. But strictly speaking, if Zobrist had already sold the ring to a collector, and now that collector is auctioning it off, Jesse Rogers’ report this morning would still be correct:
Regarding a story that was making the rounds yesterday, 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist is not selling his WS ring.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 5, 2021
Because it wouldn’t be Zobrist selling his ring. His ring would’ve already been sold, and was being re-sold by someone else. Again, that’s what Heritage apparently claims. Heritage, a legit auction house, was re-sharing articles yesterday about the ring, so I don’t think it’s a matter of a totally made up situation. It seems more likely that Zobrist or the Cubs or both simply don’t want people thinking *HE* is out there right now trying to auction his ring. That isn’t what’s happening, according to Heritage.
UPDATE: In another weird twist to this increasingly weird story, Zobrist’s agent told the Chicago Tribune that he’s spoken with Zobrist, and Zobrist told him he is not and would not sell the ring:
Ben Zobrist’s agent says the former Chicago Cubs star’s 2016 World Series ring is not for sale — 1 day after an auction house said it was up for grabs: ‘He is not getting rid of this ring’ https://t.co/0oaNsWp36Z
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) June 5, 2021
If Zobrist still has the ring – and isn’t selling it – then that would mean someone else in this chain of events was either extremely untruthful or extremely confused. I mean, Heritage’s spokesperson flat out said that the ring was being sold by someone who had already purchased the ring from Zobrist. Heritage ANNOUNCED the auction for crying out loud!
Like I said, this is truly bizarre.