The championship ring of Frank Ryan, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns when they defeated the Baltimore Colts 27-0 in 1964, is up for auction through Leland's. The auction lasts for another 17 days and the starting bid for the ring is $25,000.
The ring is beautiful. A gem with Browns World Champions written around it with the score and Frank Ryan's name. Part of what makes it such a unique item for Browns fans is in addition to being a great part of the team's history, it's the last time the team won a championship.
It's the last championship from a time when the Browns were one of the top organizations in the league. The team had won championships in 1946 through 1949 in the AAFC and then won the championship in dominating fashion when they joined the NFL in 1950. They won back to back titles in 1954 and 1955.
All of the previous championships were quarterbacked by Otto Graham. The 1964 championship is the only one quarterbacked by anyone else.
A team that included Jim Brown, Paul Warfield, Gene Hickerson, Dick Schafrath, Lou Groza, and Gary Collins, the Browns had a balanced offense. Ryan threw for 2,404 yards while Jim Brown led the league with 1,464 rushing yards.
The Browns defense was good enough to shut out a Colts team led by Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry and Lenny Moore.
At the time, no one would have believed the Browns would go without a championship for six decades and counting. The expectation is they would continue to be one of the league's best teams for years to come.