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World Series ring stolen from former Dodgers catcher Jimmy Campanis [Updated]

November 17, 2010 |  2:10 pm

A former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher said one of his World Series rings and a Rolex watch were stolen during a charity golf tournament in Chino Hills on Monday.

Jimmy Campanis, who earned three World Series rings (one as a player in 1965 and two as a member of the organization in 1981 and 1988), said his most recent ring was stolen as he warmed up on the Western Hills Golf Course driving range for a tournament organized by the Fullerton College baseball team.

Campanis said he placed the ring and watch inside a jewelry pouch in his golf bag. He said he left the bag on his golf cart and began to hit balls on the driving range about 10 yards away from his cart. When he returned minutes later, the ring and watch were gone, he said.

"You really feel naked," Campanis said. "I've worn a World Series ring on my hand since '65."

He said the watch holds particular sentimental value because he it to his father, former Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis, as a gift to match the 1981 World Series rings they both received.

"The day my dad died, I took that watch and his World Series ring off his hand," Campanis said, adding that he has been wearing the watch ever since and planned to pass it along to his son.

"Usually I have it on my hand until I tee off," Campanis said. "The one time I don't, it gets taken."

More than 140 golfers entered the tournament, and there were numerous workers in the vicinity, said Nick Fuscardo, head baseball coach at Fullerton College.

Campanis said that before he began warming up, he showed the ring to some people, including some Fullerton College baseball players. It is possible, Fuscardo said, that people saw Campanis put the items in the bag and decided to take them.

Fuscardo said he spoke to every member of his program and is certain that none of them took the ring.

"I guarantee it was not one of my players who did it," Fuscardo said. "My players have enough respect for the game not to take someone's World Series ring."

He added: "I'm heartbroken over it -- it's my event."

Investigators from the Chino Hills police said they are interviewing everyone who was at the course, as well as monitoring pawn shops and the online auction website EBay, said Det. Ray Hilfer.

Campanis is offering a $1,000 reward.

For now, he has switched to wearing his ring from 1981, though he said the lost ring was his favorite.

"It has more diamonds on it," Campanis said. "People recognize it right away."

[For the record at 3:04 p.m.: A photo that previously accompanied this post was removed because it showed Campanis' father.]

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-- Stephen Ceasar

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