Things really are tough all over. Robert Castillo was let go as a production manager with the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles in the 2007 off-season. He hasn't latched onto a new job since, so he is selling his 2002 Anaheim Angels World Series Championship ring.
Asking price: $19,995.
What's even sadder about this tale of financial woe is Castillo is credited with creating the Rally Monkey.
No, Castillo did not birth the little primate, but he came up with the idea of shooting video of a jumpy little bugger with a "Rally Time" sign to fired up crowds at the Big A. The images were first flashed on the JumboTron screen during a 2000 game against the San Francisco Giants (who would go on to hate him even more when the monkey-fortified Halos beat them in the 2002 World Series).
The original video was eventually spun into Rally Monkey merchandise and, besides the traditional roll of him jumping up and down with his sign, his insertion into famous movie scenes, music videos and other footage flashed on the JumboTron. This past season's shot of the monkey in an Avatar scene was classic.
The Rally Monkey was also featured in a memorable 2007 "This is SportsCenter" commercial that had the simian being fired from his fictional job at ESPN. After 14 years with the ballclub, Castillo was let go just a few months before that spot aired.
Darren Rovell, the CNBC sports business reporter, last week broke the story about Castillo selling his ring, and a check today of dealer Tim Robins' Championship Rings site shows it is still on the block. Here is the product description:
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
This beautiful 2002 Anaheim Angels "World Series" Champions 10K Gold, with Diamonds and Rubies, (A-Version) Ring and Original Wood Presentation Box belonged to Robert Castillo, Creator of the Anaheim Angels Rally Monkey! Ring weighs 46-grams, is approximately a size 12, was made by Intergold, and comes with a Letter of Authenticity from Castillo. (Since this ring is made of gold, it can be resized, either two-sizes up or down, without compromising the integrity of the ring. Changing the size of a ring can also affect the value.) If you are interested in this ring, or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (949) 713-2890 or e-mail us at Support@Championship-Rings.net.
"Having been out of work for nearly three years and unable to find work has left me in debt and on the brink of total financial ruin," Castillo explained to CNBC. "The World Series ring is the only item I own of value."
That is, other than the world-famous cheerleader he created.
"When people walk into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and see a stuffed Rally Monkey doll in the case honoring the Angels championship," Castillo reportedly said, "they will see that I truly left my mark in this world."