Rare Opportunity to See Red Sox Icon's World Series Rings
BOSTON (June 7, 2017)—This summer, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is stepping up to the plate to celebrate the career of Red Sox icon, David Ortiz. A new installation of Ortiz’s World Series Championship rings, David Ortiz: King of the Diamond, will open on June 17 to kick off Father’s Day Weekend. Ortiz’s championship rings from 2004, 2007 and 2013 will be on display and his 2013 World Series MVP ring will be installed a week later, coinciding with the retirement of Ortiz’s number 34 at a Fenway Park ceremony on June 23. As part of the Big Papi celebrations that week, Museum visitors can contribute to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, an organization committed to providing lifesaving heart surgeries for children in the Dominican Republic and helped countless others in New England, through a donation box available at the Museum until June 25. David Ortiz: King of the Diamond will be on view in the Museum’s Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art through Labor Day, September 4, 2017.
“My relationship with the City of Boston is close to my heart, and I’m happy to share my rings with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to give all Red Sox fans and Museum visitors a chance to view them up close,” said Ortiz. “I always want to remind the city to swing for the fences and never give up.”
The MFA has a long history of displaying jewelry and its collection is one of the most comprehensive in the world, spanning 6,000 years and 20,000 objects. In fact, in 2006, the Museum appointed the first curator of jewelry in an American art museum. For centuries, crowns, medals and—more recently—gem-set rings have been awarded as personal trophies to athletes who have earned championship titles. Ortiz’s four rings make him a champion’s champion as the only Red Sox player in nearly a century to receive so many.
“Since antiquity, jewelry and metalwork have been awarded to commemorate important events and honors,” said Emily Stoehrer, Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry at the MFA. “In our collection we have items ranging from stone yokes worn by athletes in ancient Mesoamerica to communicate accomplishment and prestige, to a 19th century design for a monumental automobile racing trophy. With the special display of David Ortiz’s rings, Red Sox fans are invited to explore this historic tradition during their visit to the Museum.”
The rings are designed and crafted in collaboration with the Red Sox, by Minneapolis-based designer, Jostens Inc., which has been creating championship rings for over 60 years. Each one is decorated on three sides, and the interiors are engraved with dates and messages celebrating significant aspects of the team’s World Series run that year:
- The 2004 World Series Ring commemorates one of the most exciting seasons in sports history, when the Red Sox “reversed the curse” and won their first World Series since 1918. Ortiz’s post season performance helped carry the team to a four-game World Series sweep. The ring’s interior is inscribed with “86 years.”
- The 2007 World Series Ring celebrates the team’s seventh World Series title with the signature team logo on the front, as well as Fenway Park and two World Series trophies along with Ortiz’s name and number on the sides. That year, Ortiz was named the American League’s Player of the Month in September, and during the postseason his hot streak continued with a .370 batting average, three home runs and 10 RBIs.
- The 2013 World Series Ring holds particular symbolic significance as it marks a time when Boston united in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Returning after an injury, Ortiz gave a heartfelt speech on April 20, launching a season that celebrated many career milestones, including his 500th career double, 2,000th career hit and 1,689th hit in the role of designated hitter—securing the record for most hits by a DH. Dubbed the “Bearded Brothers” by the media, the interior of this ring celebrates this unity with an engraving of the lower part of a bearded face and the words “BEARDED BROTHERS.” On the side of the ring, the Red Sox “B” logo above the word “STRONG” memorializes the season and Ortiz’s “Boston Strong” message.
- The 2013 Most Valuable Player Ring is a unique celebration of Ortiz’s storied career with the Red Sox, as rings are not typically given to World Series MVPs. During the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ortiz had an incredible 11 hits in just 16 at-bats, resulting in a .688 batting average. The impressive stats are engraved on his ring.
Ortiz’s World Series rings will be on view starting Father’s Day weekend. Visitors are encouraged to return to see his MVP ring when it is installed the following week. MFA admission includes one repeat visit within 10 days and children under 17 are always free.
“Sharing these rings and their history offers MFA visitors and loyal Red Sox fans a special opportunity to recall the hope, excitement and success that David Ortiz brought to Boston throughout his career with the Red Sox,” said Dawn Griffin, Senior Director of Communications at the MFA. “These rings are works of art, and also signify extraordinary achievement, which we hope inspires fans of all generations.”
Artworks of interest to sports and jewelry aficionados alike can be found throughout the MFA’s encyclopedic collection. Sports fans can see depictions of athletes from ancient Greek and Roman cultures in the Art of the Ancient World galleries, while jewelry enthusiasts can observe the influence of history on modern jewelry in the MFA’s current exhibition Past is Present: Revival Jewelry.
Summer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
David Ortiz: King of the Diamond is part of “Summer at the MFA,” which will enliven the Museum and its campus with art and entertainment throughout the season. Other special exhibitions include the first-ever exhibition of bapo painting in China’s 8 Brokens: Puzzles of the Treasured Past; posters, album covers, and photographs from the 1960’s in The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design; and a selection of Inuit prints in Follow the North Star: Inuit Art from the Collection of Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh. Things heat up at night, with the MFA’s annual Concerts in the Courtyard series kicking off July 5th and the Museum's new outdoor summer film series, Sunset Cinema, and Boston favorite, the French Film Festival, both premiering on July 13.
About the David Ortiz Children's Fund
The David Ortiz Children’s Fund provides critical pediatric healthcare to children in New England and the Dominican Republic. The David Ortiz Children's Fund has currently netted approximately $3 million, provided over 600 children with life-saving heart surgery in the Dominican Republic, and has helped countless others throughout New England region. In 2011, David Ortiz was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award by Major League Baseball for his work with the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. For more information, please visit: www.davidortizchildrensfund.org.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of the Ancient World; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25), while five Open Houses offer the opportunity to visit the Museum for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.