When will Cubs wear their World Series rings? Anytime they want

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs pitcher John Lackey might never be so right again. He uttered an instantly famous line last August when asked about his team's goals for the upcoming fall:

"I didn't come here for a haircut," he said. "I came here for jewelry."

Fast-forward to Wednesday: Before the Cubs play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of their series, Lackey is going to get his jewelry.

After raising their championship banner Monday, the Cubs will receive their World Series rings in a final ceremony to commemorate the 2016 championship. The conversation in the clubhouse leading up to the day has revolved around how often and on what occasions they might wear them. No two players had the same answer.

"Never," reliever Carl Edwards Jr. said. "It's going back to South Carolina."

What about family barbecues, weddings or special events?

"Nope," he said. "Wednesday I get it, and it goes to my house locked up in a safe that can't be broken."

Not all players were going to play it that safe. Ben Zobrist was asked if he'd wear it, considering how gaudy it might look.

"I'm sure it will be," Zobrist said, laughing. "I think that's kind of the point of wearing a World Series ring. It's going to be obvious it's something special. ... I'll be wearing it at times, probably when I do some signings here and there."

Pitcher Jake Arrieta didn't mince words. There could be a time when the ring, worth approximately $70,000, might come in handy.

"I think I'll wear it just occasionally," Arrieta said. "When I have a suit on and want to rub it in some people's face. I'm not a ring guy, but who knows? I might put that thing on Wednesday and change my mind."

The majority of players said they would wear it more initially for their own enjoyment and/or to show fans who are intrigued by it. All said they'll have to be extra careful with it.

"I'm going to make sure that thing is safe," Kyle Schwarber said. "I'll wear it for special occasions, but that's going somewhere safe."

Reliever Hector Rondon added: "I might. I don't know. I'll wear it but maybe not that much. Maybe out to a restaurant, but it depends on the restaurant. I'll keep it at home mostly."

The Cubs decided to split up their ceremonies to allow more fans to witness the historic moments, hence the banner raising on Monday and the rings on Wednesday. Two celebrations are better than one in the Cubs' estimation.

"So fans can enjoy them each on their own," Theo Epstein said. "That's a lot to put into one night. It'll prove to be a nice benefit for the fans. By first pitch on Wednesday we can truly turn the page."

Epstein said he was the point person from the baseball department in regard to the design of the rings, using input gathered from his players. Jason Heyward said he gave his two cents regarding the logo, and Anthony Rizzo was also instrumental in the design, but ultimately the players were as curious as anyone to see the final product.

"We wanted to end up with something that pleased everybody," Epstein said.

It's hard to see anyone complaining after they receive one of the most coveted pieces of jewelry in sports: a World Series ring that commemorates the end of the longest drought in professional sports history.

"I want to enjoy it," Albert Almora Jr. said. "I like some bling. I like that. I'll wear it with my wedding ring. I'll enjoy it, then put it away. ... Maybe date night with the wife, make her feel special, bring it out then."

MVP Kris Bryant is also one who plans to wear it -- probably.

"It depends on how shiny it is," he said. "If it's really shiny it might attract a lot of attention. I think it's important to wear it and show it off. I'm a big believer in that we accomplished something like that, show it off. We did it. As time goes on hopefully we'll have more on our fingers."

No talk of jewelry can be complete without hearing from infielder Javier Baez. With a championship tattoo already in place, the ring will just add to the player with the most flair on the team.

"I am going to wear it every day to the field for the sure," Baez said. "I like white gold, and I think it is white, so hopefully it matches everything."

Eventually, the conversation turned to getting matching hardware next season should the Cubs repeat as champions. Zobrist already has two rings. He's not about to wear Royals bling around town, though, so he wants to be answering these same questions a year from now. Then he'll wear two at a time.

"We'll wait for a second Chicago one and do that at some point," he said of wearing two rings at once.

Monday's banner night might have been for the fans, who will see the World Series flag flying every time they enter Wrigley Field, but Wednesday is about the players and a tradition that has turned into an expensive event. Beyond the ring's worth, what it symbolizes is priceless, even to well-paid stars.

Said Bryant: "Most prized possession I'll ever have."