ST. PETERSBURG — When Sue Yagmin saw her coworker's Tampa Bay Rays American League Championship replica ring, she had to have one. Problem was, she wasn't one of the 37,000 fans who got one at the April 14 home game giveaway.
So she turned to eBay and offered one seller $23.50, plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Yagmin received her ring Thursday morning. She opened the small envelope from San Diego and was disappointed with what she found inside.
"I thought, 'Gosh, it isn't as pretty as I remember,' " Yagmin said.
She compared it to her coworker's ring, and sure enough: Her fake ring appeared to be a fake.
The real championship replica ring is heavy, smooth and shiny, with the Rays logo sitting on a bed of fine silver sparkles. The counterfeit ring Yagmin got is smaller, has blemishes and small dents in the metal, and the logo sits on a bed of colored glitter.
Neither Yagmin nor the St. Petersburg Times were able to reach the seller, who also lists other replica championship rings — 2007 Boston Red Sox World Series, 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Series, 2005 Chicago White Sox World Series — on eBay.
The photo of the Rays replica ring featured on the eBay page looks more like the real replica, not the one Yagmin received. The seller offers an exchange, not a refund, if the buyer ships the ring back within three days.
This was the first the Tampa Bay Rays had heard of such a thing. But Rays vice president Rick Vaughn said he wasn't exactly shocked. The day after the fan giveaway, about 80 rings showed up on eBay, with some sellers asking for as much as $125.
"It may have been the most valued fan giveaway item in all of baseball this year." He felt for Yagmin, though.
"I was lucky enough get a real one so I will be happy to give her my replica," he said.
Yagmin is going to take Vaughn up on his offer.