ST. PETERSBURG -- Now they have their rings.
Twenty-three players, eight coaches, manager Joe Maddon and 14 members of the front-office staff received their American League Championship rings in a pregame ceremony at sold-out Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.
Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, president Matt Silverman and executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman presented the rings.
Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Gerry Hunsicker was the first to receive his ring, and Carl Crawford, who is the longest-tenured Rays, was the last, receiving a warm embrace from Sternberg before taking possession of the wooden box holding his ring.
All fans in attendance received a replica ring as well.
The top of the 14k white gold ring features the Rays' primary logo set against a diamond background. Atop the raised outline of a baseball infield is "Rays" in blue letters with a specialty cut yellow diamond in an 18k gold starburst inlay. The oval section panel contains 48 diamonds of various sizes.
On one side of the ring in raised polished letters are the words "AL East Champs," and just below it is the American League logo with a wraparound banner containing the words "1st Pennant." The recipient's name, the "TB" logo and the Rays' 2008 regular-season record "97-65" are embedded on the other side of the ring.
The Rays produced 480 rings for players, staff, employees, and ownership. Rays full-time employees will receive their rings in a private ceremony tomorrow.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.