BALTIMORE (WJZ)—More than three decades ago, Baltimore Colt great Artie Donovan had a priceless piece of sports memorabilia stolen.
Now, as Mike Schuh reports, those stolen goods have been returned to the Hall of Famer.
On Tuesday, Ravens players worked out at the castle. Sitting on the porch, invited for the old timers’ luncheon, was Hall of Famer Artie Donovan.
After his championship season in 1958, he and the rest of the team were given rings celebrating the game. But Donovan didn’t wear it.
“I never wore jewelry,” he said. “I only wore the ring around my nose. I met the girl from Baltimore and it was all over.”
He’s talking about his wife Dottie. Decades ago she took their high school and college rings and the ring with his name inscribed inside and put them on a bracelet.
Then in 1977 they went to Hong Kong.
“So she made a bracelet out of all those rings, and I think a maid in the hotel didn’t know what the hell it was all about and took it,” Donovan said.
That was 34 years ago. Then the ring popped up on Craigslist.
“I’m astounded two detectives from Howard County had to call me to tell me they found the ring,” Donovan said.
Somehow it made its way to Elkridge. The detectives set up a fake buy, recovered it, authenticated it and gave it back to Donovan.
Donovan says he’s glad to have it back, but his memories of playing are more important.
“I’m glad to get the ring back,” he said. “I think I’ll pass it on to either one of my two grandsons. I’ll let them flip a coin and whoever wins it, it’s yours,” he said.
Donovan and Dottie say that from now on they’re going to keep it locked up in a safe place.
The other rings that were on Dottie’s bracelet are still missing.
Police determined the man selling the ring didn’t know it was stolen, so no charges were filed.