MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sports fans will often dream about their teams winning national and world championships.
But for California’s Josh Pearson, it’s all about what comes next.
Pearson, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, has a certain fascination with the huge rings that champions wear — and an extensive knowledge about them.
Many of those rings are made by Minnesota-based Josten’s Company.
In the lobby of the company’s design center in Eagan, the symbols of past sporting success glittered in Pearson’s eyes.
His 30th birthday wish was to travel from his home in Los Angeles to Minnesota to see how the company’s championship rings are made.
“As each year goes by, they get bigger and bigger and more complex,” said Blaine Stewart, Josten’s senior director of art and design.
Every ring design you see in finished metal and glistening gems begins with an artist. Their concepts created on a computer screen will then be cast in wax.
The designs are eventually sent to skilled machinists who carve the unique and elaborate designs into metal molds, which will be used for the actual castings.
Stewart says Pearson’s special desire to tour the facility naturally touched the company’s heart.
“This was a great opportunity to show the work that we do, the craftsmanship that we take on everything we fulfill,” Stewart said.
Pearson’s visit included a trip through the company’s extensive vault. It is there in countless drawers where every design Josten’s ever created through the years is held.
Stewart showed us a special military academy ring from 1964.
“So a craftsman took that and carved it literally by hand,” he said.
But the best part of the tour was saved for last. There on a conference room table was laid out an impressive array of recent championship rings, for the Cubs, Penguins, Patriots, Blackhawks and Broncos.
And a little box held off to the side came Josten’s huge surprise made especially for Pearson.
Beaming with joy, Josten’s Division Vice President Chris Poitras proudly opened the box.
“On behalf of everyone here at Josten’s, not just at Eagan but everywhere in North America, we want to present you with your very own ‘Josh Pearson Championship Ring,'” Poitras said.
A perfect size 11, complete with his name and a diamond-encrusted letter “P” atop the ring. Along its side are the raise letters proclaiming, ‘Pearson, 30 Years #1 Fan.”
From a company that’s in the business to celebrate moments that matter, no championship has ever mattered more.