A Season of Cups & Trophies

Posted

Trophies loom large this time of year as teams slug it out through the finals to try and make history.

NHL champions will raise North America’s oldest professional sports trophy, the Stanley Cup. First awarded in 1893 to the Montreal Hockey Club, the Cup was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, then Governor-General of Canada.

The original puck-chasing prize was just a punch bowl before it came to rest on top of an oversized, silver and nickel trophy weighing 34½ lbs.

NBA winners will mark their triumph by hoisting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, named for the league’s commissioner who served from 1975 to 1984. Originally a wide-mouthed chalice, the current hoops prize depicts an official size basketball on a solid rim.

The English Premier League, now in its 25th season, will hand out their relatively young cup, while the League’s affiliate, the FA Cup, will present soccer’s oldest trophy dating back to 1871 (photo above).

In continental Europe, winners of the year-long Champions League competition will soon embrace a long-handled silver urn with the inscription “Coupe Des Clubs Champions Europeens”. The trophy was first presented in the 1950’s after French sports newspaper, L’Equipe, pushed for a pan-European soccer tournament.

In the waters of Bermuda, sailors are poised to compete for the 35th staging of the America's Cup, the oldest international sports trophy.

Affectionately known as the “Auld Mug”, the ewer-shaped trophy was first awarded in 1851 to the New York Yacht Club for defeating the Royal Yacht Squadron in a race around England’s Isle of Wight.

Joining the America's Cup in the pantheon of 19th century trophies are the Scottish Cup 1873 (soccer), Calcutta Cup 1879 (rugby), Ashes Urn 1882 (cricket), Challenge Cup 1896 (rugby) and Davis Cup 1900 (tennis).

Baseball’s World Series champs receive the Commissioner’s Award, the only trophy among the four major sports in America not named after a specific person.

Depicting a ring of 30 gold-plated flags symbolizing the league’s 30 teams, the Award was first bestowed in 1967 when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox for the World Series.

Prior to 1967, Major League Baseball did not have a trophy.

Super bowl victors savor the Vince Lombardy Trophy, first delivered in 1967 and named three years later after legendary coach Vince Lombardy who won the first two super bowls with the Green Bay Packers. The sterling silver figure takes the shape of a football in a kicking position.

First accorded in 1930, the prestigious FIFA World Cup Trophy was previously known as the Jules Rimet Trophy, after FIFA’s president who launched the world’s most widely-watched sporting event.

Pursued not just on the soccer field, the original Jules Rimet was stolen twice while on display- first in England in 1966 but later recovered; then in Brazil in 1983 and never seen again.

In its most recent format, the 14½ inch world cup sculpture depicts two human figures holding up the earth.

It's not a surprise that we still honor cups and trophies, the most cherished objects to immortalize teams and championships.

Other articles enjoyed: The First Super Bowl, The Heisman Trophy As A Non-Predictor, For Every Winning Streak, A Losing One, America's Cup- Rich Man's Sport, 70 Years Of NFL Relocations, Oldest Franchises- Survivors Of Time

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Shop For Our Books & DVD's

WEEKLY SPORTS PUZZLE

View larger Puzzle archive


THIS WEEK

10 years ago

BOXING  September 12, 2009  Russia tops the AIBA World Boxing Championships with a total of 8 medals. The highest level of amateur boxing next to the Olympics, the AIBA was first held in 1974 and is today a biennial competition of 10 different weight classes. Cuban heavyweight Felix Savon holds the record for most gold medals (6) at the AIBA.

20 years ago

BASEBALL  September 9, 1999  Baseball pitcher Catfish Hunter dies at the age of 53 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Throwing from 1965 -1979, the North Carolina native spent his career playing for the Royals, Athletics and Yankees. A 5x World Series champ and 8x All-Star, Hunter was also known as baseball’s first big-money free agent.

30 years ago

FOOTBALL  September 10, 1989  Five days after hitting a home run with the New York Yankees against the Seattle Mariners, Deion Sanders scores his first NFL touchdown in a return punt with the Atlanta Falcons. Sanders played 14 seasons in the NFL during the period 1989-2005, but he also put in 9 seasons as a part-timer with MLB in 1989-2001.

40 years ago

TENNIS  September 5, 1979  At 16 years and 9 months, Tracy Austin becomes the youngest singles champion at the US Open following her defeat of Chris Evert at the final. Over the next several years, the talented prodigy from California reached the quarterfinals & semifinals at the other three Grand Slams but chronic injuries forced her retirement in 1984.