“Every ring is a team story, and this is the Cubs story.”
Miran Armutlu, Master Jeweler
Last week the Chicago Cubs received their World Series rings. Everyone in the organization got a ring, not just the players. That’s a total of 1,908 pieces. That’s 1,908 stories. Here’s the only one I have a loose connection to.
One ring went to Dave Martinez who has been the Cubs bench coach since 2014. Martinez started his big league career as a player for the Cubs back in 1986. After a 15 year career where he collected 1,599 hits he began coaching for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Martinez played high school ball at Lake Howell High School where I also once played second base. The year after I graduated from high school I worked as a sports reporter and photojournalist for the Sanford Herald and was covering the game when Martinez hit his first home run of the season.
He had the purest swing of any high player I’ve ever seen. Over the years I lost track of his career until the Cubs won World Series last year and I saw his name pop up.
And for a little more circle of life stuff, after Martinez graduated from Lake Howell he played ball at Valencia College in Orlando where I’m a multimedia producer. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1983. This year is the 50th anniversary of Valencia College and while they no longer have a sports teams, it’s a nice part of the school’s history to have an alumnus wearing a Chicago Cubs World Series ring.
And how’s this for an Iowa connection; back in 1986 Martinez played minor league ball for the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. He finished that year playing in Wrigley Field. That’s a year I’m sure he’ll never forget.
Congrats to the 1,908 Chicago Cubs employees. And what a classy move by the organization to give all of them a little bling. (And I love the little billygoat logo they included in the design.)
P.S. Since this is a blog on screenwriting and filmmaking I should add that two of Valencia College’s alumni are Ben Rock and Greg Hale (of The Blair Witch Project), and actor Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) and screenwriter Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall) are graduates of Lake Howell.