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Yankees fan returns Red Sox World Series ring to its owner, gets cool reward

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Restaurant owner Luigi Militello shows off the 2013 Red Sox World Series ring he found. (AP)

Restaurant owner Luigi Militello shows off the 2013 Red Sox World Series ring he found. (AP)

The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees once caused a Yankees fan to stab a Red Sox fan in the neck at a restaurant. Thankfully, the story we're about to tell you about baseball's most famous rivalry is much, much different. It involves the Red Sox, the Yankees and a restaurant, but it also involves two guys being humane to each other and doing the right thing.

In this day and age, especially when it comes to sports rivalries, that's wonderful to hear.

Luigi Militello, the owner of Luke's Bar & Grill in Manhattan, was astonished last Thursday night when he found a Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series ring in his bathroom. Living and working in Manhattan, he's a Yankees fan through and through. 

"I was like, geez, it's big. Who would leave this here?" Militello told The Associated Press. "I'm a big Yankee fan. What are the chances of this happening?"

The ring belonged to Drew Weber, a New York businessman who owns the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox's Single-A team based in Lowell, Mass. He was awarded the World Series ring for being part of the organization, and had never worn it in public until he dined at Luke's Bar & Grill that night. 

In many cases a Yankees fan getting ahold of a Red Sox World Series ring could be disastrous. In the wrong hands, it could turn into a series of YouTube prank videos or a ritualistic destruction of this piece of Red Sox history. Or worse. None of that happened, though. 

Weber, upon realizing he lost the ring and after frantically looking around his apartment for it, called the restaurant. Militello said he had the ring. The ring's value, by the way, isn't specifically known. It includes 126 diamonds, so it's hardly cheap. The 2004 Red Sox World Series rings were worth about $30,000, so that gives us an in-the-neighborhood value.

Militello didn't try to extort Weber to give the ring back, but he did razz him a bit. The two men met the next day and talked baseball while returning the ring to its home in Red Sox Nation. While Weber didn't give Militello a cash reward, he did offer him something else that's pretty cool, something any Yankees fan would surely enjoy, even if it means going to Boston. 

From Ben Walker at the AP:

Militello was insistent that he wouldn't accept any money. He tried to persuade Weber to call into a local sports radio show and disparage the Red Sox, but that didn't work.

Instead, Weber and the Red Sox have invited Militello to make his first trip to Fenway Park for the regular-season finale on Sept. 28. That's also scheduled to be the final game for retiring Yankees star Derek Jeter.
"Going for his send-off, that's pretty great," Militello said.
"He asked if he could wear his Yankees paraphernalia," Weber said. "I couldn't answer him."

You had to know that somehow this story was going to come back to Derek Jeter.

BLS H/N: Eye On Baseball

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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