Cubs ask employees to sign form discouraging sale of World Series rings

Getting your hands on an authentic Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series ring was already going to be difficult. Now, it’s going to be impossible. In order to prevent employees from turning a profit on their new jewelry, the team is asking workers to sign a document that strongly discourages selling the rings, according to ESPN.

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The paperwork states that any employee looking to sell their World Series ring must give the Cubs the opportunity to buy it back for $1. Employees who reach an agreement with another party would have to submit the terms to the Cubs. At that point, the team could refuse that deal and buy back the ring for $1. If the Cubs allow the ring to be sold to a different buyer, that buyer will also be subject to the team’s buy-back policy.

The request has been met with mixed opinions. General manager Jed Hoyer said he happily agreed to sign the document, stating that the Cubs paid for the rings and are willing to help with taxes, so he understands why the team doesn’t want employees turning around and making a profit on a gift.

The Cubs don’t want their rings hitting the open market. (AP)
The Cubs don’t want their rings hitting the open market. (AP)

On the other hand, at least one worker told ESPN that the policy was unfair. If a person needs to sell the ring in order to “put food on the table,” they should have that right.

The policy does not apply to the players, however. That seems to be based on the fact that the players will pay full taxes on the rings. The Cubs are covering that cost for many of the low-level employees who received rings. The team gave out 1,908 rings and pins within the organization.

A number of different rings were cast and given out to different tiers of employees, so it’s tough to know exactly what each ring would sell for on the market. One jeweler suggested a mid-level player could fetch around $80,000 for a ring, according to ESPN.

That’s a significant amount of cash, and you could see how that might be more valuable to an everyday employee over a ring. Cash can pay for college or housing or a number of other important items. A Cubs World Series ring is just a cool thing you can show off. Admittedly, it’s a really cool thing, but that’s all it is.

In the end, the whole thing comes down to who you believe owns the ring. Do the Cubs retain ownership of an item because they’ve paid for it? Or does that become invalid the instant the team gives it away?

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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