Hairston Jr. claims ring on busy off-day

Hairston Jr. claims ring on busy off-day

NEW YORK -- Jerry Hairston Jr. found a familiar spot in the Yankees' clubhouse on Tuesday, occupying the same area where he stood with his uniform caked by dirt after scoring the winning run of Game 2 of the 2009 American League Championship Series against the Angels.

There would be nothing unusual about that except for the fact that Hairston is now a member of the Padres. The former utility man for the Yanks made the cross-country journey from San Diego during his team's fortuitous off-day to claim his World Series ring.

"I feel great," Hairston said. "I don't think I can feel better. It's not every day you get a chance to get a ring, especially in New York and in the new Yankee Stadium. I feel fortunate that I'm one of the few guys they're giving them out to."

Hairston said that the Yankees were gracious enough to help him score a hotel room when he learned that his schedule would allow him to claim his ring -- not that he slept in the bed much.

"[The timing] had to be perfect," he said. "We had a day game in San Diego yesterday and an off-day today. I said, 'If they're going to have an off-day during a ring ceremony, I've got to go get it.' "

Hairston arrived in New York at 2:30 a.m. PT and will take a 3 p.m. flight back to the West Coast, rejoining the Padres in time for Wednesday's game against the Braves.

"I don't know how much the ticket was, and I don't care," he said. "When I look at that ring, it's going to be worth it."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.