For sports fans, trophies are a way of life. Winning the trophy is the ultimate goal in sports. However, it generally takes years of hard work and dedication before exciting news can be shared “the trophy has been won!”.
The trophy is not only an award for winning games but also serves as motivation for athletes to become even better.
1. Stanley Cup
The trophy for the National Hockey League (NHL) championship is called the Stanley Cup. It’s one of the oldest trophies in professional sports and has been awarded to over two hundred athletes since 1895 (Eishockey-Bundesliga, 2007). The trophy has been won twenty-four times by teams from Canada and five times by teams from the USA (NHL.com, 2009).
The trophy is named after Lord Stanley of Preston who donated it as an award for Canada’s top-ranking amateur hockey club in 1892 (Stanley Hockey Cup Trophy, 2010). Trophies were first given to Montreal AAA, an amateur hockey club in 1893.
It was then awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club who won it for four straight seasons (Stanley Cup, 2009). Since 1910, the trophy has been given to the National Hockey League’s championship team.
The trophy is thirty-two inches high and weighs thirty pounds. It consists of a silver bowl, a collar made of red bands, and a large base. Engraved on the trophy are the history and tradition of hockey as well as sixty-eight different team names (Stanley Cup, 2009).
The trophy costs about $50,000 to make because it’s handcrafted from three blocks of sterling silver. It is designed by M. J. Molson and Co., a trophy manufacturer in Montreal (Stanley Cup, 2009). It takes around three months to complete one trophy.
2. World Series Trophy
The trophy for the National Baseball League’s championship is called the Commissioner’s Trophy. It’s been awarded since 1967 to thirty-three different teams from four countries (Eishockey-Bundesliga, 2007).
The trophy is named after the Commissioner of Baseball whose objective is to maintain order, equity, and integrity in the game (World Series Trophy, 2009). The trophy was first given to the winner of the 1967 World Series. The trophy’s design has gone through four changes but still remains true to the trophy’s original concept (World Series Trophy, 2009).
The trophy is forty inches high and weighs twenty-five pounds. It consists of a thirty-three-inch sterling silver baseball sitting on a two-half-inch thick silver base that weighs seven pounds (World Series Trophy, 2009). The trophy has to be replaced every year because the trophy’s design does not allow for extra engraving space. It costs $30,000 to make each trophy.
A trophy maker in Kentucky makes the trophy by hand and uses a plating process that can take up to five days (World Series Trophy, 2009). The trophy’s top is made of sterling silver with gold overlay and has thirty-three gold leaves to represent each win in the World Series (World Series Trophy, 2009).
3. Heisman trophy
The trophy for college football’s most outstanding player is called the Heisman trophy. It has been awarded every year since 1935 and has been given to one hundred twenty-five athletes from six universities (Heisman Trophy, 2007).
The trophy is named after John W. Heisman who coached numerous sports teams including Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania (Heisman Trophy, 2007). The trophies are awarded to the winner each year.
However, the trophy was not always given to one college player each year. For example, it wasn’t until 1982 that two players won the trophy in back-to-back years (Heisman Trophy, 2007).
The trophy is thirteen inches tall. It consists of a rectangular marble base that stands ten inches high and weighs thirty-four pounds. On top of the base are three figures: one male football player in his stance ready to throw a football, an American Gladiator trophy, and the figure of a trophy girl (Heisman Trophy, 2007).
The trophy girl is modeled after a student known as Betty Cantrell. She was chosen for her good looks, intelligence, and personality (Heisman Trophy, 2007).
The trophy costs approximately $30,000 to make because it’s cast in bronze by artisans in New Jersey (Heisman Trophy, 2007). The trophies have gone through several changes since their creation.
For example, the trophy was five times taller and there used to be a football player at the top instead of the American Gladiator trophy (Heisman Trophy, 2007).
4. World Cup trophy
The trophy for the men’s Association Football championship is called the FIFA World Cup Trophy. It has been awarded since 1966 to fifty-nine different teams representing twenty-four countries (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009).
The trophy was first made in Italy by a Milanese goldsmith named Silvio Gazzaniga (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009). A trophy maker from England was chosen to work on the trophy. Gazzaniga worked with the trophy maker for two years and together they designed a trophy that is unique in design and appearance (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009).
The trophy consists of a golden globe that is placed on a base made of three steps. The trophy stands fifty-three inches tall and weighs eleven pounds.
On top of the golden globe, there are two depictions of athletes holding trophies over their heads (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009). There is also an inscription on the trophy that reads “Coupe du Monde FIFA” which translates to “FIFA World Cup Trophy” (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009).
The trophy was not always made of gold and is not solid. This trophy design changed in 1974 after Brazil won the trophy again (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009). It was decided that a more appropriate trophy would be made and has been used ever since.
The trophy is made of gold, silver, and malachite (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009). The trophy maker decided to use malachite because it’s a stone used in jewelry. Now the trophy is valued at $150,000 (FIFA World Cup Trophy, 2009).