Red Sox fan Tim Londergan is a junior political science and economics major at the University of New Hampshire, and he will never forget how this school year began last fall.
"I went to multiple Red Sox games last year, sitting everywhere from the luxury boxes to the bleachers," Londergan wrote in an email to MLB.com. "As far as the World Series went, I can say how incredible of an experience the celebration was on college campuses. Downtown Durham, N.H., was flooded with almost 3,000 kids in the street celebrating the win."
It seems like a long time ago -- that final pitch from Koji Uehara to Matt Carpenter to secure a third title within a decade -- but on Friday the memories became even more vivid again.
Londergan is among so many fans across Red Sox Nation who have taken a special interest in a pair of offerings that launched online as the Red Sox players received their rings and raised a flag for the home opener at Fenway Park against Milwaukee. One is the Red Sox Gold Program, which just launched with 92 total items at the MLB.com Shop, and the other is the Red Sox Official Fan Collection to get your own title bling at redsox.com/rings.
Included are the authentic jersey and on-field cap that the Red Sox players donned for their home opener against the Brewers at Fenway Park to receive their rings and raise the championship flag in style.
The uniforms include special gold stitching around the World Series Championship patch on the left sleeve, and around the letters and numbers on the front and back of the jersey.
The 92 items include 20 caps, 28 collectibles, 23 jerseys (not customizable), 10 men's, three women's and eight youth.
"The elegance of gold piping really speaks to the prestige of the Red Sox as the 2013 World Series Champions," Londergan continued. "I find that the gold addition helps the Sox stand out as the returning champions. In addition, I also like how unique this is for Boston. We are a franchise rooted in tradition, and with jerseys that have been largely unchanged for decades; it is nice to see a new spin on the traditional Red Sox home uniform. I love all the new gold-inspired merchandise and can't wait to get some of my own."
The Red Sox Official Fan Collection includes the Ultimate Ring for $5,899. It comes fully loaded with precious stones (1.8 carats total), every championship year, Fenway and your name. The Fan Ring starts at $299 and features name personalization as well.
"Jostens is thrilled to partner with the Boston Red Sox for the third time in the last 10 years on the creation of a World Series Championship ring. We are proud to help present the team with a ring that celebrates the team's eighth championship title and historic victory," said Chris Poitras, vice president, college and pro champ at Jostens, maker of the championship rings and the commemorative fan rings. "This dazzling ring was meticulously designed to emphasize the best qualities of each of the materials used and create an exceptionally beautiful ring."
There are a variety of other products in the ring collection, including the Fan Championship Box like the one each of the Red Sox players received as they came out to accept their rings from management in the pregame ceremony.
In addition, the MLB.com Shop is offering a free gold coin with the first 240 purchases of a replica 2013 World Series Champions jersey.