Luigi Militello found himself ogling the most prized possession of his favorite sports team's most hated rivals last Thursday.
The Newark Star-Ledger's Charles Curtis reports that the Manhattan restaurateur found a 2013 Boston Red Sox World Series championship ring resting on a sink in the men’s restroom at Luke’s Bar and Grill.
“I was like, geez, it’s big. Who would leave this here?” Militello said. “I’m a big Yankee fan. What are the chances of this happening?”
Militello would discover that the ring’s owner was Drew Weber, a New York businessman and owner of the Lowell Spinners—a Single-A minor league affiliate of the Red Sox based in Massachusetts.
Weber had received the diamond-and-ruby-encrusted ring as a gift from the Red Sox, who had given out championship rings to their minor league execs.
Weber says he’d been dining at Militello’s restaurant, Luke's Bar and Grill, on Thursday and didn’t notice that the giant, matchbox-sized ring had slipped off his finger until he returned home later that night.
“I went looking around my apartment and starting having palpitations,” Weber told the AP. “Sweat was pouring off my forehead. I’m looking at my finger and it’s not there.”
Weber said he called Luke’s some time after midnight, hoping that some kind soul had found his ring and given it to the proprietors.
But a kind soul had not found the ring. A huge Yankees fan had found the ring.
“This being Yankees-Red Sox, I started razzing him,” Militello said. “I told him he wasn’t getting it so easily. I was playing with him, a lot.”
Weber said his tormentor/savior gave him a hard time.
“I was like, ‘Who am I dealing with?’” Weber said.
The gamesmanship eventually subsided and the two sat down at Luke’s to talk baseball. Militello refused to take money as a reward for his find, saying he’d prefer if Weber went on a local radio station and talked smack about the Red Sox.
After some debate, the two men parted ways with a compromise: Militello would be Weber’s guest at Fenway Park for the Yankees’ final regular-season game of the year.
“Going for [Derek Jeter’s] send-off, that’s pretty great,” Militello said.
Weber has also agreed to donate some funds to a charity of Militello’s choosing.
The one thing the Lowell Spinners owner can’t help his new friend with is his choice of clothing for the Fenway finale.
“[Militello] asked if he could wear his Yankees paraphernalia [to Fenway],” Weber said. “I couldn’t answer him.”
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