Joe Kelly Preferred Receiving 2018 World Series Ring During Private Ceremony Than In Front Of Dodgers Teammates

With the Los Angeles Dodgers in town for a rare series at Fenway Park this weekend, Joe Kelly was afforded an opportunity to catch up with and face some of his former Boston Red Sox teammates.

The right-hander pitched for the organization over parts of five seasons and enjoyed varying degrees of success during his time in Boston. He became a fan favorite and especially made a name for himself throughout the 2018 postseason.

Kelly was virtually unhittable and helped propel the Red Sox over the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series, tossing six scoreless innings while appearing in all five games. He turned that success into a lucrative three-year, $25 million contract with Los Angeles just two months later, marking a homecoming for the Southern California native.

Although a return to Fenway Park normally would’ve meant receiving last year’s World Series ring, Kelly revealed that he was presented with it a few months ago in private from Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

Kelly preferred this route over a more public ceremony that would have been held in front of his current Dodgers teammates, via Matt Vautour of

“He hand delivered it to me,” Kelly said. “I’d rather have it that way than to get a ring out here (motioning toward the field in front of the dugout) in front of my teammates. I got it and put in my safe at home. It’s gorgeous ring. I love it.”

Though Kelly opted against receiving his ring during an on-field ceremony at Fenway Park, Red Sox fans still gave him a standing ovation as he walked to the bullpen in right field.

A similar situation played out earlier this season when the Dodgers handed out 2018 National League Championship Series rings to Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood during a matchup against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium.

Kelly didn’t get to pitch in Friday’s contest, but he did appear in the final two games of the series. Kelly’s save on Sunday night was his first this season.

While Kelly’s stint with the Dodgers hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing, he has pitched much better as of late and is starting to emulate the 2018 postseason version of himself. After struggling for the better part of April and May, Kelly has allowed just two earned runs in all of June and July.

Over his last 13 appearances during that span, Kelly has limited opposing batters to a .170/.279/.208 batting line, while accumulating 22 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched.