Who gets a World Series ring? Sometimes, you'd be surprised

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Royals Return to the World Series


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Dan Uggla was long gone by the time the Giants won the World Series last fall. He'd played four games for San Francisco in late July, going 0 for 11 with six strikeouts, and made two errors at second base.

That earned him a World Series ring.

"With him struggling like he did, it opened up the door for Joe Panik, and we probably wouldn't have won the World Series without Joe Panik," recently retired Giants pitcher Tim Hudson said. "So everybody who's hating on Dan should probably be glad he didn't do so well. If he had hit .240 or .250, he might have stuck around and there wouldn't have been Joe Panik."

Brayan Villarreal got a ring with the champion Red Sox in 2013. His contribution? He got into one game for Boston - in August, he relieved with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game at San Francisco, and walked Marco Scutaro on four pitches to force home the winning run.

Those were Villarreal's last four pitches in the majors, in fact.

Jacob deGrom, Johnny Cueto and the rest of the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals are hoping to do a lot more in the next week to clinch a crown. As for who will get a World Series ring, that's to be determined as the clubs have combined to use a total of nearly 100 players this season.

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METS going to the WORLD SERIES
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Who gets a World Series ring? Sometimes, you'd be surprised
New York Mets' Jeurys Familia and catcher Travis d'Arnaud celebrate after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets celebrates with manager Terry Collins #10 after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against Pedro Strop #46 of the Chicago Cubs during game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
The New York Mets celebrate after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Mets' Jeurys Familia celebrates after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep Championship Series. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: David Wright #5 of the New York Mets celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets celebrates after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The New York Mets celebrate after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
The New York Mets celebrate after Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. The Mets won 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: The New York Mets dugout rushes the field to celebrate with his team after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Jeurys Familia #27, Kelly Johnson #55 and Travis d'Arnaud #7 of the New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Daniel Murphy #28 and Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: The New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: New York Mets fans celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: The New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs and his teammates wave to the crowd after being defeated by the New York Mets in game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: The National League Championship Series MVP Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets speaks to the media during a press conference after Game 4 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs 8-3 to advance to the World Series. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: New York Mets fans cheer after game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mets defeated the Cubs with a score of 8 to 3 to sweep the Championship Series. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Bengie Molina and Arthur Rhodes have left little to chance in recent years. They played for both teams that made the Series in the same year.

Molina received a pair of sparkly rings for 2010, one for his time with the AL champion Texas Rangers and the other from the Series champion Giants. He began the year as the starting catcher in San Francisco before rookie Buster Posey's promotion.

From the Texas dugout five years ago, Molina watched the visiting Giants team that had traded him just four months earlier win the title. Molina was briefly frozen: His instincts told him to rush out and celebrate with his good friends from the other side, but he knew he couldn't do it.

"It was really, really tough in my heart. It was tough to play. It was tough to hit," Molina recalled last week. "When they won, I was sitting down in the dugout watching them, and I didn't know if I should jump around and enjoy the win. That's how weird it was."

Molina has both rings in a safe place at home in Gilbert, Arizona. He touched on his experiences that year in his new book, "Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty," about his father raising three future major league catchers - Bengie, Yadier and Jose.

Rhodes began 2011 with Texas, was released on Aug. 8 and signed a few days later with St. Louis - which beat the Rangers in a seven-game World Series.

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Craziest, best dressed ALCS/NLCS fans - Royals, Mets, Cubs, Blue Jays
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Who gets a World Series ring? Sometimes, you'd be surprised
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Edwin 'Cowbell Man' Boison (L) and Karl 'Sign Man' Ehrhardt stand outside Citi Field prior to game one of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series between Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets on October 17, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Nick Giampietro, also known as Pin Man, takes a photo of CitiField while wandering outside the stadium before the start of baseball's Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) New York Mets fans cheer after game two of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on October 18, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cubs 4-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jay fans celebrates during the third inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 20: A Toronto Blue Jays fan holds up a J before the game against the Kansas City Royals during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 17: A Kansas City Royals fan waves a towel during game two of the American League Championship Series between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 20: A Kansas City Royals fan before the game agianst the Toronto Blue Jays during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 21: Laurie Fors of Orillia shows off her original Blue Jays 1992 World Series t-shirt before the Toronto Blue Jays played the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series in MLB action at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Star/Todd Korol (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Chicago Cubs fans dressed as 'Star Wars's' Boba Fett and 'Back to the Future's' Marty McFly pose outside the stadium prior to game four of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Bundled up fans sit outside of Citi Field prior to game one of the 2015 MLB National League Championship Series between Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets on October 17, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 20: A fan waits outside the stadium before the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- OCTOBER 19: Fans were happy as the Jays pulled out ahead. The Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals play game three of the MLB American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre in Toronto. October 19, 2015. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 17: A Kansas City Royals fan holds antlers during game two of the American League Championship Series between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Fans arrive for Game 4 of the NLCS as the Chicago Cubs play host to the New York Mets on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 21: Bradey Emond (L-R), Josh Reason and Hilary Tufts show off their 1992 Blue Jays World Series banner before the Toronto Blue Jays played the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series in MLB action at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Star/Todd Korol (Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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The Giants decided to give Uggla a World Series ring despite his brief, unproductive time. Manager Bruce Bochy rewards every player who spends even a day on a title team, and Uggla received his jewelry from general manager Bobby Evans behind the scenes before a game Aug. 14 at AT&T Park while he was on the disabled list for the Washington Nationals.

"It was a really cool thing for them to include everybody, even if it was a short few days there," Uggla said. "It really goes a long way, especially with people like me, to get a ring like that. I'll tell you what, I got goosebumps when I opened it up and looked at it. It's pretty awesome."

For Bochy, the toughest call isn't whether to gift the ring. Instead, it's which one to present - there is a fanciest version - to a bit player during a championship season.

"Maybe the type of ring, A versus B, they're all very similar," Bochy said. "We talk about it. A guy who was with the club at one time, that's usually how it works in our game. I heard (Uggla) was very excited about it, which is good. Granted it was a short time, but he was here and part of our club. They've done something."

Humor aside, Hudson figured Uggla deserves some credit.

"He was on the roster, he was on the team, he put on the uniform just like everybody else did," Hudson said. "Will it be something he wears with pride? Probably not, just because he probably didn't feel like he contributed to it, (but) to show your grandkids and your kids one day that he was on that team."

A three-time All-Star, Uggla joined the Giants after being released by Atlanta. No matter that some fans wanted to ring him up for his struggling stay in the Bay Area. He wasn't about to apologize for walking off with a World Series ring.

"I don't really care," he said with a smile. "It doesn't bother me. It worked out the best. I needed to go home and regroup and do a bunch of stuff. They had some young studs coming up, like (Matt) Duffy and Panik. It was crunch time. They needed help right then, and I'm not sure I would have been able to do that for them. I'm glad to see it worked out for them, a lot of good people over there."

"I guess you could say I got lucky," he said.

TOP 25 PLAYOFF HEROES OF THE LAST 25 YEARS:

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Top 25 MLB playoff heroes of the last 25 years
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Who gets a World Series ring? Sometimes, you'd be surprised

25. Francisco Rodriguez, Anaheim Angels (2002)

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

24. Jack Morris, Minnesota Twins (1991)

(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

23. Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins (1991)

(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

22. Troy Glaus, Anaheim Angels (2002)

(Photo by Robert Lachman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

21. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals (2011)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

20. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (2010)

(Photo by: Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

19. Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees (2009)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

18. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (2004-06, 2011)

(Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

17. Dave Roberts, Boston Red Sox (2004)

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

16. Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007)

(Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

15. Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks (2001)

(Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT)

14. Edgar Renteria, Florida Marlins (1997)

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

13. Aaron Boone, New York Yankees (2003)

(Photo by Allen Kee/WireImage)

12. Carlos Beltran, Houston Astros (2004)

(Photo By Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

11. Josh Beckett, Florida Marlins (2003)

(Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

10. Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants (2002)

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants (2012, 2014)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

8. Luis Gonzalex, Arizona Diamondbacks (2001)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

7. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants (2014)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

6. Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (1998-2003)

(JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

5. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007, 2013)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

4. Joe Carter, Toronto Blue Jays (2003)

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

3. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (1996-2006, 2009-2012)

Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

2. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees (1996-2007, 2009-2011)

(Todd Warshaw via Getty Images)

1. Curt Schilling, Arizona Diamondbacks & Boston Red Sox (2001, 2004)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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