ST. PETERSBURG -- Eric Hinske got a surprise on Friday afternoon after being summoned to Tropicana Field's weight room to say hello to some of his former Boston teammates.
When Hinske reached the weight room, he found the entire Red Sox team waiting for him so they could present him with his World Series ring.
"[Manager Terry] Francona, the whole team was in there," said Hinske, a permanent smile affixed to his face. "I thought they were going to give it to me in Boston, but they surprised me."
Hinske, who played in 84 games for the Red Sox in 2007 en route to the World Series championship, pulled out the ring for inspection at the request of reporters.
"It's really cool," he said. "I didn't expect it, either. It was pretty neat. They were all in there giving me hugs and everything. I still have a lot of close friends over there. ... I just thought I was going to say hi. ... They're all good guys over there."
Rays manager Joe Maddon has a World Series ring from 2002, when he was the Angels' bench coach.
Getting the ring is "what you're really trying to accomplish," Maddon said. "All that hard work, that's what everybody is after. ... You do [play for the ring]. The symbolism involved. The significance of that exceeds everything else."
Hinske noted how heavy the ring is and that he can't hold his fingers straight when he puts it on, but ...
"I'll probably wear it for a while," he said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.