The second he spotted the package sitting inside his locker, Cameron Maybin didn’t have to guess its contents. He knew. The package wasn’t large and it bore a Houston Astros return address.
“This is it!” Maybin thought. “This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
Maybin’s lifelong dream came true last week when he received his World Series ring from the Astros. While the other Astros were presented their rings in a pre-game ceremony in April, Maybin had to wait for his to arrive by mail.
For Maybin, it was all worth it.
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“That’s what you play for,” Maybin said. “As a kid, you play because you want to get to the big leagues one day and you want to win the World Series. It’s a dream you have as a kid.”
Maybin’s time with the Astros was brief. Two months.
Houston claimed the outfielder off waivers from the Angels on the last day of August. Maybin spent the final month of the regular season with the Astros and appeared in six postseason games for them.
But he was on the field for the final out of the Series.
“I was in the middle of the dog pile,” he said.
Maybin became a free agent following the season and signed a one-year deal with the Marlins, leaving Houston behind.
But the ring stuck in his mind.
The Astros visited the White House in March. Maybin didn’t go. They received their World Series rings during a pre-game ceremonial in April. Maybin wasn’t there.
When the ring arrived last week, he was overjoyed.
“Growing up, I didn’t say I wanted to play baseball and make a lot of money,” Maybin said. “I just wanted to be a professional baseball player and play in the World Series one day. And to go through 12 seasons and never even get to the playoffs, last year was such a huge feat.”
After ripping open the packaging, Maybin slipped on the ring for size. It was a perfect fit. He then showed it to his Marlins teammates and wore it into the clubhouse kitchen.
“I made sure I ate a bowl of cereal with it on,” he said. “I was making sure people saw it. It was cool. I wanted to wear it to the gas station.”
The ring didn’t remain in Miami for long. During a recent off day, Maybin took it back home to North Carolina to present to his father.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be playing,” Maybin said. “He has huge fingers and hands, so he put it on his pinky. You could see in his face how cool it was. That was the biggest joy for me, that he got to experience that.”
On his return flight, Maybin spotted a famous fellow passenger, former NBA star Ray Allen. Maybin didn’t want to disturb Allen, who was sleeping. But he noticed Allen was wearing a large, shiny ring. It appeared to be a title ring, perhaps the one Allen won with the 2013 Heat.
Maybin didn’t ask. But he admired it.
And now he had one of his own.
“It’s history,” Maybin said. “We’ll forever go down in history, and I’m just thankful I was able to be a part of it.”