A world championship ring given to former Baltimore Colts defensive lineman Art Donovan was returned to him more than 30 years after it was stolen while he was in Japan, police said Tuesday.
Howard County police said they got a tip that the ring, given to Donovan in 1958, was being sold on Craigslist for $20,000 by someone in Elkridge. They contacted Donovan, confirmed it had been stolen in 1977, and posed as buyers during a meeting with the seller.
Once police had the ring, which was engraved with his name and “70,” his jersey number, they told the seller they believed it to be stolen. The seller told them he didn’t know it was stolen and gave it to police, who said no criminal charges are forthcoming.
Police returned the ring — which was authenticated by the manufacturer and the Indianapolis Colt s — to Donovan at his home.
Donovan played for the Baltimore Colts, New York Yanks and Dallas Texans in the 1950s and early 1960s. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. Born in the Bronx, he played collegiately at Boston College.