Five Broncos earned the 2014 World Series ring. For some, it’s their third.
Slipping on a new World Series ring never gets old, says Jeremy Shelley ’95, who should know. In April, at a ceremony on the field of AT&T Park, Shelley collected his third bejeweled memento from the San Francisco Giants’ recent run of glory: 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Sparkling with 55 melee diamonds, the latest ring is massive—and more flash than you’d expect from the understated Shelley, assistant general manager and vice president for pro scouting. Reporters tag him as a statistical whiz, key to the Giants’ knack for reloading talent. But he’s a close-to-the-chest guy who prefers a “team effort” mantra to any personal crowing.
Yet subtlety takes a breather for the rings; one regularly adorns his right hand. They represent everything the organization grinds to achieve—and everything he’s dedicated himself to since joining the Giants more than 20 years ago as a student intern entering mailed-in scouting reports into a database. “You’re in this job to work hard,” he says, “and ultimately get a World Series ring.”
He’s not the only Bronco with a bevy of bling to choose from courtesy of the Giants, who, like other teams, extend World Series bounty to the front office. Classmate Bryan Srabian ’95, director of digital media, and Becky Biniek ’04, social media manager, both began as interns; they’ve enjoyed the trio of triumphs. The core of the social media team, they pump out video, updates, and links to followers on nine digital platforms, including nearly 3 million followers on Facebook.
Their job comes with remarkable access—though not necessarily great sightlines. During the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, they were in a tunnel just behind the Giants dugout. With a heavily obstructed view and barely an Internet connection so deep in the stadium, they had only a fuzzy idea of the drama unfolding on the field, as the Royals came within a hairbreadth of snatching the title. The one player they could see was third baseman Pablo Sandoval. He made the final out. Then it was onto the field and into the locker room.
The third title relieved Srabian—father of three boys—of a looming Solomonic dilemma: How to split two rings with three sons? As the title neared, the chance for a way out became a running joke, says Srabian. “Needless to say, there is pressure to have a fourth child, mostly from my Giants friends.”
The run of glory stands in contrast to the years just prior, says David Fujito ’86, an app developer who helps Shelley and others in baseball operations get a technical leg up. His first five years, the team didn’t get a whiff of the playoffs. Now Fujito—who kept his status as die-hard season-ticket holder to himself when he interviewed for the position—has his dream job and the jewels to show for it. (Not that he wears them much. The bank seems a safer location.)
Lauren Porter ’09, a retail buyer for the Giants, has only been with the team for the most recent championship—one reason the ring’s heft took her aback. She tried to work with it on, she says. “But my hand got tired while I was typing, so I had to take it off.”
It’s a nice problem to have. Shelley says the focus is already on getting the next one. “That’s the thing with the rings,” he says: “You always want another.”