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Dodger Great's Ring Recovered at Pawnshop

April 30, 2002|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles police have recovered Jackie Robinson's National League championship ring, which was stolen last year from a relative of the Dodger baseball great, authorities said Monday.

Miguel Rodriguez, 21, of Los Angeles was booked on suspicion of grand theft after the owner of a pawnshop recognized the ring, which had been pawned for $100, said Officer Jack Richter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

"This is a historic item given to one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game," Richter said. "But you can't put a price on it. It's invaluable."

Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 and starred for the Dodgers, received the ring when the then-Brooklyn Dodgers won the 1953 National League championship.

Last year, Robinson's brother-in-law, who had inherited the ring, reported that it had been stolen.

Police said Rodriguez, who did odd jobs for the brother-in-law, pawned the ring at Steve's Pawn Shop on Western Avenue in Los Angeles. The owner noticed it among high school class rings and called the LAPD's pawnshop detail.

Pawnshop detectives are responsible for monitoring the activities of more than 100 pawnshops in the city, Richter said.

Over the years, he said, the unit has recovered several stolen World Series rings, a $100,000 powerboat and a Stradivarius violin.

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