As we noted in our 10 ways sports pros squander their millions, former and current sports pros are selling their championship rings at a record pace.
Championship-rings.net, a leading vendor, has seen a 36% increase in sales during the past year, of which five per cent were acquired from pro athletes still playing, which is rare. They’ve also seen an increase in sales from family members who inherited these items, but now need to sell them for personal reasons.
Rings can sell for tens of thousands of dollars, like a player’s diamond and 10K gold ring from the 1999 St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl XXXIV champions. Asking price is $29,995 (pictured here).
We asked Tim Robins, the owner, to explain. Here’s what he told us:
Many athletes when they retire do not have the luxury of never working again. Some of these athletes continue to work for a team as a coach or a scout, and others look for work outside this arena as
real estate agents, business owners, etc. Since the beginning of the recession, many businesses have had to shutdown due to lack of sales, and the real estate market has hit an all time low. Even though one of the last things an athlete wants to part with is their championship ring(s), many are aware of their value and are willing to sell them to stay afloat.
Over the years, we have acquired many championship rings from what we call the Three D’s: Drugs, Divorce, and Death. Due to the recession, many more athletes are selling their championship rings, Olympic medals, trophies, game-used equipment, etc., just to make ends meet.
What’s a recent example?
One athlete who played professionally in the N.F.L. for over a decade had to sell not only all of his championship rings, trophies, and game-used uniforms, but he even had to sell his wife’s wedding ring
and all but one of their cars. Another player contacted us this week, because he is going through bankruptcy and wanted to know if their was any way we could help him by purchasing his championship ring from the court and giving him the opportunity to buy it back in the future.
Give us some names.
Due to confidentiality, we do not disclose names of athletes we have worked with, but there have been a number of athletes, or their families, who have sold these items publicly: Darryl Strawberry, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Jose Cardenal, Dennis Rodman, James Edwards, Pete Rose, Lenny Dykstra, Bob Gibson, Thurman Munson, Jim Thorpe, Whitey Ford, Commissioner of M.L.B. Baseball – Bowie Kuhn, etc.
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