The days of cheering on David Ortiz as he slams home runs at Fenway Park are over, but there’s new way to celebrate Big Papi’s legacy starting on Father’s Day weekend.
Beginning on June 17, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston will display a trio of Ortiz’s World Series championship rings from 2004, 2007 and 2013. A fourth, his 2013 MVP ring, will join the collection the following week as Ortiz’s No. 34 is officially retired at Fenway on June 23.
While some might question the disparity between a modern day ring and a Renaissance masterpiece at the MFA, the museum actually has one of the largest jewelry collections in the world with over 20,000 pieces dating from as far back as 600 centuries ago.
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“Since antiquity, jewelry and metalwork have been awarded to commemorate important events and honors,” curator Emily Stoehrer said in a statement. So, maybe think of Ortiz’s rings as the equivalent to the museum’s ancient Greek athletes wreath of olive leaves. Just with a couple thousand year gap in between.
Each ring, casted by Jostens Inc., actually does serve as a time capsule for that period of the retired Red Sox slugger's career. The 2004 ring, for example, is inscribed with “86 years” to commemorate the first time the team had won the World Series since 1918. The 2007 ring includes two world series trophies in recognition of Ortiz’s second win, and the 2013 ring is poignantly engraved with “Boston Strong” in honor of the marathon bombing earlier in the year. The final ring might be the most unique of the lot, as most MVP players are not gifted jewelry.
“David Ortiz: King of the Diamond” will be on display throughout the summer until Labor Day on September 4. Guests who attend the initial reveal of the first three rings are welcome to come back for free to see the final ring the following week. All are encouraged to donate to David Ortiz’s Children’s Fund at a collection box in the museum.
If you go
June 17 and 23, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 456 Huntington Ave., $23-$25, mfa.org