The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 15, April 10, 2022, Article 30


Len Augsburger passed along this Chicago Tribune article about a lawsuit over a World Series championship ring offered in a Heritage sale. Thanks. -Editor

Zobrist World Series The manufacturer of the Chicago Cubs' 2016 World Series championship rings filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against an auction house and collector over a replica ring bearing Ben Zobrist's name that the lawsuit says was stolen.The manufacturing company, Jostens, said the duplicate ring is worth more than $75,000. Jostens is seeking monetary damages to be determined at trial.Jostens contends in the lawsuit Heritage Auctions has not returned the stolen sample ring that was slated to be auctioned off last year and its collector will not release his claim to the title to the stolen sample.

Jostens in the lawsuit said Heritage Auctions indicated it would not transfer possession without a duly executed release of title claim or a court order directing the release of the ring.

When the auction house tweeted last June that Zobrist's would be the first Cubs player ring to hit the auction block, speculation as to why the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 World Series would sell his valuable possession was rampant, including in the Cubs clubhouse.

Zobrist real World Series ring One player said Zobrist's former teammates could buy the ring at auction and then give it back to him. Heritage Auctions told the Kansas City Star the ring's owner was a collector of championship hardware and had bought it from Zobrist. But the day after the story went viral in 2021, Zobrist denied he had sold his ring. His representatives sent to the Tribune a time-stamped photo of Zobrist wearing the ring to prove it was still in his possession.

Heritage Auctions attorney Josh Benesh declined to comment on the particulars of the lawsuit or whether the ring in question was real. When the dispute over the title to the ring began last June, it was removed from the auction block and remained in Heritage's possession.

Heritage has a strict policy of assuring that our consigners represent and warrant that they have good title and would never knowingly sell an item that was stolen, Benesh said. Nor would we ever knowingly sell an item where there was a question to its authenticity.

The auction house appears to be caught in the middle while the consigner and Jostens both claim ownership, a question that will now be decided in court after the two sides couldn't come to an agreement.

Jostens, with the Cubs' permission, had made a sample ring modeled after Zobrist's with distinguishing features to differentiate it from the actual World Series rings distributed to the players, according to the lawsuit. The suit claims that in February 2018, a Jostens designer left seven sample rings, including the Zobrist sample, with another professional sports organization that was looking at making its own championship rings. At some point the rings were stolen, according to the lawsuit.A police report was filed, the suit said, but the stolen rings were never recovered.

The suit says Heritage Auctions informed Jostens it would maintain possession until its authenticity and ownership was resolved, leading to the lawsuit. The suit said Jostens demands a trial by jury on all of its claims and any other matters so triable.We're grateful that we have been able to work with Heritage to stop the auction of our sample ring, said Chris Poitras, Jostens general manager of professional and collegiate sports, in a statement. But it's unfortunate that we have had to take legal action to get it back. We are eager to see this ring returned to Jostens.

To read the complete article (subscription required), see:
Jostens files a lawsuit against an auction house over a ‘stolen' duplicate of Ben Zobrist's 2016 World Series ring (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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