CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox received their World Series rings Tuesday in a pregame ceremony, and the loudest ovation went to a player no longer on the team.
Aaron Rowand, the popular center fielder traded in the offseason to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jim Thome, got a rousing greeting as he walked onto U.S. Cellular Field in a suit and tie to get his ring.
Rowand waved to the crowd as he approached the area between the mound and plate where commissioner Bud Selig assisted White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Kenny Williams in passing out the rings.
Rowand got big hugs from Reinsdorf and Williams and then another from World Series MVP Jermaine Dye when he went to the third base line to join his former teammates.
"It's obviously an odd feeling being here and not being in uniform with the rest of the team. I spent a lot of years here. It's definitely an odd situation for myself, but I'm definitely glad to be here to see the guys and share this experience with them," Rowand said.
"I never really had the chance to say goodbye to the fans. I had a chance at the White House to say goodbye to my teammates, but I never really thanked the fans and said my goodbye to them," he added.
Rowand, who was able to make the ceremony because the Phillies had an off-day, was asked how often he would wear the ring.
"All the time," he said.
Other players no longer on the team who made it back for the ceremony were Orlando Hernandez, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks; Willie Harris, who scored the winning run in the World Series clincher; and reserve outfielder Timo Perez. Other former players who couldn't appear, such as Frank Thomas and Geoff Blum, were listed on the outfield scoreboard.
The rings were designed by Reinsdorf's wife, Martyl, who also designed five of the six championship rings for the Chicago Bulls. The rings are made of a 14-karat yellow gold with a 14-karat white gold insert. Each one contains 95 diamonds of various sizes.
In all, 432 rings were made for the team's players, staff and employees. Also getting rings were Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio and Carlton Fisk and families of past team owners, including Charles Comiskey, Mary Frances Veeck and John Allyn.