An ardent New York Yankees fan, Luigi Militello, bridged the chasm between Yankees and Red Sox fans by returning a lost 2013 Red Sox World Series ring to its owner, Drew Weber, the owner of Red Sox Class A minor league team in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Militello, the owner of Luke’s Bar and Grill in Manhattan, found the ring–studded with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies set in 14-carat white gold–on a bathroom sink in his restaurant. The ring was adorned with the Red Sox emblem, a logo reading Boston Strong, and an image of the bearded 2008 team.
Militello recounted to the Associated Press, “I was like, geez, it’s big. Who would leave this here? I’m a big Yankee fan. What are the chances of this happening?”
Weber, who lives in New York, had frequently eaten at Luke’s before. As an executive in the Red Sox organization, he had been given the ring as a reward when the big-league team triumphed in 2013. The 2013 ring has not been appraised, but the Red Sox World Series ring from 2004 was worth roughly $30,000.
Weber admitted he had never worn the ring outside before, telling AP, “I went looking around my apartment and started having palpitations. Sweat was pouring off my forehead. I’m looking at my finger and it’s not there.” Desperate, Weber called Luke’s after midnight; luckily, Militello was there and informed Weber that he did indeed have the ring.
But Militello couldn’t resist: “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.” Weber, befuddled, asked, “Who am I dealing with?'”
After Militello and Weber talked, they met the next day at Luke’s and conversed for another 25 minutes about baseball as Weber got his ring back. When Weber offered a reward, Militello wouldn’t hear of it, but was still yanking on Weber’s leg, trying to convince him to call into a local sports radio show and knock the Red Sox.
Weber wouldn’t bite, but consulted with the Red Sox and then invited Militello to visit Fenway Park for the very first time on a historic date: the regular-season finale on Sept. 28, which could be Derek Jeter’s last game.
Militello exclaimed, “Going for his send-off, that’s pretty great.” Weber said, “He asked if he could wear his Yankees paraphernalia. I couldn’t answer him.”