Brandon Puffer, a righthanded relief pitcher, never played a game for the 2004 Red Sox. But he was given a World Series ring and that valuable piece of jewelry will be the centerpiece of a popular television show tonight.
Here’s the story behind the story:
Puffer was acquired from the San Diego Padres on July 2 that season. The Sox also obtained lefthander Jimmy Anderson that day and decided to send Puffer to Triple A Pawtucket.
Puffer pitched credibly for Pawtucket and was summoned to the majors on Sept. 2. Puffer did not get in the game and was designated for assignment the next day because the Sox wanted outfielder Adam Hyzdu on the roster.
Despite not actually playing in a game, Puffer was on the roster for a day and was given a ring. The 18-carat white gold ring was encrusted with diamonds and adorned with a ruby “B.”
Puffer appeared in three games for the Giants the following season and never pitched in the majors again. In 2008, while pitching in the minors, Puffer was arrested in Texas and charged with burglary with the intent to commit a sexual assault.
Puffer was found guilty in 2009 and sentenced to five years of prison. He has since been paroled.
Puffer’s World Series ring was sold to a private memorabilia collector during that time and about a year ago was purchased again, this time by a collector from suburban Boston named Mike, who asked that his last name not be used.
“I’m not a huge baseball fan but I was a fan of that team because they were so entertaining,” Mike said. “I felt having that ring was worth it. It’s fun to have.”
Mike is a fan of the show “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel. Via a friend who contacted the show, Mike went to Las Vegas and offered to sell the ring to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop.
The episode will be aired at 9 p.m. tonight. We won’t spoil the show by telling you what happened. But it’s worth noting that former Sox pitcher Scott Williamson auctioned his ring in 2011 and received $89,000. Rick Harrison, the owner of the pawn shop, has a great affinity for championship rings.
“I’m willing to sell the ring and getting a chance to go on the show was great,” Mike said. “The ring is something everybody wants to see.”