The least-deserved World Series ring in history?
Josh Towers got a phone call on Friday. It was Ben Tuliebitz, the New York Yankees' traveling secretary. He had one question for Towers: "What's your ring size?"
And it was at that moment that Towers understood how impactful those two nondescript, mop-up relief appearances he made for the Yankees last September really were. Maybe not impactful for the Yankees, who lost both games (and promptly released him). But certainly for Towers himself.
"You start out the year with the Washington Nationals and end up getting a World Series ring," mused Towers, now a non-roster invitee in the Los Angeles Dodgers' camp in Glendale, Ariz. "It's amazing how things happen in this game."
Did you remember that Towers was with the Nationals last spring on a minor league contract? You'd be forgiven if you didn't. He was cut early in camp, made one disastrous start for Syracuse, the Nationals' Class AAA affiliate, then went on the disabled list. He was released in May with a 21.60 ERA with the Chiefs.
The Yankees signed him within days and sent him to Class AAA, before calling him up in September when their bullpen was stretched thin.
A few months later, he's being fitted for a World Series ring. Oh, and the Yankees' players voted him a quarter-share of their World Series pool money. The check for $87,507.50 showed up in Towers' mailbox just before he departed for spring training.
"I don't feel like I deserve that ring," said Towers, 33, a career 45-55 pitcher in parts of eight big-league seasons. "But I'm not going to tell them, 'No, thanks.' That's something I'll have forever, something to show my grandkids someday."
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