Terry Francona earned his two World Series rings by managing the Red Sox to titles in 2004 and 2007. Now, the current Cleveland Indians skipper has gotten those prizes back, a month after they were stolen from his home.
According to a police report from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, authorities say the rings were sold to a sports memorabilia store in Phoenix before detectives were able to recover them for Francona.
Francona Helped End Sox Curse
Francona initially reported the rings as stolen on Nov. 7. Detectives investigating the case would later find that a check for $245,830, which also belonged to Francona, may have been fraudulently deposited earlier in the year.
On Dec. 17, police arrested 33-year-old Jamey Estep on charges of second-degree burglary, theft, and trafficking in stolen property – all of which are felony charges – in connection to the theft.
Francona was at the helm during Red Sox’s resurgence. While Boston has been among the most successful MLB franchises of the 21st century, Francona took over a team that hadn’t won a championship since 1918 – a streak many attributed to “The Curse of the Bambino.”
That changed in 2004. The Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS to defeat the New York Yankees, then went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series in 86 years. Since then, the Red Sox have won three more championships in 2007, 2013, and 2018.
Indians Unlikely to Earn Rings in 2020
The Red Sox declined to renew Francona’s contract after Boston suffered a late-season collapse in 2011. He finished with a regular season record of 744-552 in Boston. Francona went on to work as a baseball analyst for ESPN during the 2012 season. Since 2013, he has managed the Cleveland Indians, winning an American League pennant in 2016.
In a statement, Francona thanked police for their assistance.
“I am incredibly grateful to the effort that the Pima County Sherriff’s Department has put forth in this,” Francona said in a statement released by the Indians. “Beyond that I can’t comment because it’s an open investigation.”
If Francona wants to win another World Series ring in 2020 – one that he’d hopefully be able to hold onto to – he’ll need Cleveland to exceed expectations. The Indians are +2400 to win the 2020 World Series, far behind the three big favorites: the New York Yankees (+430), Houston Astros (+550), and Los Angeles Dodgers (+600). Cleveland is expected to face a tight race for the AL Central title against the Minnesota Twins, who went 101-61 to finish eight games ahead of the Indians in 2019.