NFL Hall of Famer Lance Alworth got back his Super Bowl ring, 21 years after it was stolen.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday the 1971 ring was scheduled to be sold Nov. 20 at an auction house in Laguna Niguel with an opening bid of $44,000. The ring was reported stolen from a San Diego bar that displayed sports memorabilia.
Investigators say Alworth received a phone call last month demanding $40,000 for the ring. The former wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys contacted authorities.
The San Diego Chargers Hall of Famer had the ring on display at a Trophy's Restaurant in Mission Valley.
In 1992, the restaurant was burglarized and the ring was stolen along with other sports memorabilia.
Six weeks ago, Alworth received a phone call from a woman who told him she had his ring and wanted to sell it back to him for $40,000.
He called authorities who served three search warrants on a boutique store owner and employees in Palm Springs. They eventually found the ring in an auction house where it was scheduled to be put up for auction.
No arrests have been made.
When asked by deputies to sign a receipt for the merchandise, Alworth quipped, "Are you sure this is not a ticket?"
The platinum and diamond ring looked unharmed, Alworth said.
"Feel pretty fortunate to have it back. It's unbelievable," he said.
Alworth said he will keep the special ring in a safe.