This story has actually restored my faith in Yankees fans. Occasionally, one might consider calling the fans of New York sports “a bunch of douchebags,” scientifically speaking. Over the course of my life in New York and subsequent lifelong New York sports fandom, I’ve been called a prick, a dick, a twat, a pinstripe pussy, a Jeter-loving ballbag, and an elitist douche. Am I sorry that my teams are vastly superior to anyone else’s teams and should always win all the time always? Absolutely not, but let’s be real here–sometimes they might be right. But not today, folks. Not today.
Luigi Militello, a Manhattan restaurant owner and a lifelong Yankees fan, was shocked to find a brand new, shiny Boston Red Sox 2013 Championship ring resting on a bathroom sink at his restaurant, Luke’s Bar and Grill, on the Upper East Side. This ring was the real deal: encrusted with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, set in 14-carat white gold, emblazoned with the Red Sox logo, and a message of “BOSTON STRONG.”
“I was like, geez, it’s big. Who would leave this here?” Militello, who posted a photo of the ring to his Facebook page, told The Associated Press. “I’m a big Yankee fan. What are the chances of this happening?”
Now, you’d think that most Yankees fans would probably have flushed it down the drain, thrown it in the trash, or kept it and pawned it downtown, but this was absolutely NOT the case, ladies and gentlemen. Militello actually posted the picture on his Facebook page and begged his friends to tweet about it, retweet, repost, and share the information with their friends so he could bring the ring back to its rightful owner.
But not before snapping a couple pictures of him wearing the ring, naturally.
The owner of the ring turned out to be Drew Weber, a New York businessman who also owns the Lowell Spinners, a thriving Red Sox Class A minor league team in Massachusetts. Militello’s restaurant is one of his favorite New York dining spots, and this was the first time he actually wore the ring outside of his home. After panicking and freaking out, he called the restaurant to see if anyone had the priceless ring; Militello answered the phone and said that yes, he did indeed have the ring. But Militello wasn’t going to give the ring back without a little poke at a man who works for his hated rival team.
“But this being Yankees-Red Sox, I started razzing him. I told him he wasn’t getting it so easily. I was playing with him, a lot,” Militello said.
“I was like, ‘Who am I dealing with?’” said Weber.
The two met, Militello returned the ring to Weber, and the two talked for about 25 minutes on the subject of, naturally, baseball.
This is, in my opinion, the best part of the story, as if Militello needed to prove himself to be a nicer, more genuine human being: he refused to accept any money for a reward. Not a cent. Weber even tried to get Militello to call into a local radio show to trash the Red Sox, but Militello wouldn’t bite.
In the end, Militello accepted Weber’s and the Red Sox’s invitation to make his first trip to Fenway Park for the regular season finale on September 28, which is also Derek Jeter’s final, scheduled baseball game. This is an insane honor for any baseball lover, but an especially big one for a lifelong Yankees fan. Weber is also making a donation on Militello’s behalf to a superstorm Sandy relief fund on Fire Island.
So there you have it–a Yankees fan who found a Red Sox Championship ring who didn’t immediately destroy it, dispose of it, keep it, or sell it, who also refused to accept any kind of reward money for it, opting for it to go to charity instead. And for his efforts, he gets to see what could possibly be the Captain’s final game in Pinstripes.
Occasionally, good things happen to good people.
Can you non-New Yorkers please stop calling me an elitist prick now? …Eh, that’s probably too much to ask.
[via CBS NY]