If wide receiver Lance Alworth isn't in the pantheon of Dallas Cowboys legends, it's because he spent the nine of his 11 Hall of Fame seasons with the San Diego Chargers. But it was with Dallas that he made the two most important catches of his career -- one to convert a third-and-long, the other for a touchdown during a 24-3 rout of the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.
Twenty-one years ago, his 1971 Super Bowl ring disappeared, stolen during a burglary of a sports memorabilia restaurant in San Diego. He had given up on tracking it down until last month, when he received a phone call from a woman offering to sell it back to him for $5,000.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Alworth jumped on the offer only to see the price hiked again and again, eventually reaching $40,000.
The markups turned out to be a tactical mistake by the seller, since they caused Alworth to go to the police. Sheriff's deputies searched a couple of homes in Palm Springs and a storage unit before they tracked the ring to an auction house, where it was to be sold on November 20 at a starting bid of $44,000.
"It's a miracle really," Alworth said at a news conference on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. "It's a miracle to have it back after all these years."
Still missing from the burglary of the sports memorabilia restaurant: a Babe Ruth baseball and a bat from baseball journeyman/San Diego Padres World Series hero Kurt Bevacqua. Investigators are still looking for leads.