New York Yankees 2000 World Series ring issued to Jim Leyritz, complete with its original presentation box and signed LOA from Leyritz. This is the most significant New York Yankees World Series ring we have ever offered dating from the club's historic 1996 to 2000 World Championship dynasty. As most collectors are aware, modern-era World Series rings issued to players are rarely, if ever, seen at public auction because nearly all of the participants are extremely well paid and generally have no economic incentive to ever part with them. The offered ring is one of the rare exceptions and represents the only New York Yankees 2000 World Series player ring that has ever come to market. This ring was initially presented at auction in 2014, when it was purchased by our consignor for $46,215. No other New York Yankees 2000 World Series rings, player or otherwise, have been offered publicly since that time. In fact, the rarity of New York Yankees 2000 World Series rings is such that we cannot recall the last time we have seen any other example at auction.
2000 marked the Yankees' third consecutive World Championship and fourth in five years. Fittingly, this ring is perhaps the most attractive of the four issued during that period. The 14K gold ring, manufactured by Balfour, features a blue stone on the front, which is fashioned in the shape of a baseball diamond. Sitting on the stone is the club's "NY" logo, which is adorned with twenty-two diamonds. Numerous smaller diamonds surround the blue stone. The lettering along the bezel reads "World Champions 2000." One shank features the name "Leyritz," a representation of the World Series Trophy, the number "26" (denoting the 26th World Championship in franchise history), and the word "Tradition." The opposite shank displays the Yankees logo, a representation of the Yankee Stadium facade, and the word "Pride." The engraving "Balfour 14K" appears on the interior band.
Despite being a role player with the New York Yankees during his nine seasons with the club (1990-1996, 1999, and 2000), Leyritz's postseason heroics have earned him a prominent page in the annals of Yankees lore. While many Yankee fans remember his dramatic walk-off home run in the 15th inning of Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS against Seattle, no baseball fan will ever forget his game-tying three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning against Mark Wohlers in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series. That epic blast brought the Yankees all the way back from what began as a six-run deficit and was the defining moment in the series. It was certainly one of the most important home runs in Yankee postseason history (which is saying something) because a loss would have given the Braves a commanding three-games-to-one lead, and in all probability, the World Championship. Instead, the Yankees won the game in extra innings and eventually defeated the Braves in six games to capture the club's first championship in eighteen years. Leyritz's postseason career was filled with big moments. In twenty-eight postseason games Leyritz managed only 13 hits in 61 at bats for an average of .213. However, 8 of those 13 hits were home runs, many of which directly affected the final outcome. He was a big-time player who rose to the occasion numerous times on baseball's largest stage, which will forever endear him to a generation of Yankees fans.
The ring remains in Near Mint condition. Together with its original wood-and-glass presentation box (7.5 x 6 x 3 inches), which is lettered "New York Yankees 2000 World Champions" on the lid (Nr-Mt), and a one-page, typed-signed letter from Leyritz, dated 6/3/09, in which he attests to its provenance (letter can be viewed on our website). Size: approximately 13. Weight: approximately 50 grams. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open).