Tiffany & Co. Sports Trophies
The moment of victory at the Super Bowl, the World Series and every major championship is commemorated for all time by the presentation of custom-designed sterling silver trophies from Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany has created the most revered symbols of athletic achievement in every notable field of sport. From the beginning, Tiffany designers were dedicated to the highest level of quality and craftsmanship that would pay tribute to the athletes' skill and prowess.
This great legacy began in 1860 with the creation of the Woodlawn Vase for a racing association in Louisville, Kentucky. Later, the trophy was presented to the Maryland Jockey Club to be awarded to the winner of the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in the Triple Crown and today the oldest continuously contested trophy in the United States. In 1897 Tiffany was commissioned to design the Belmont Memorial Challenge Cup for the Belmont Stakes, the oldest of the Triple Crown events, named after financier August Belmont who initiated the race. The founding sires of the thoroughbred horse in America are portrayed on the base of the bowl.
Sponsors of other popular sports of the day commissioned Tiffany to create equally elaborate trophies. A perfect example is the Viking Rowing Trophy, which replicates an ornate Viking ship with rippling pennants, authentic rigging and fourteen great oars. This intricate artistry reached its zenith with the yachting trophies Tiffany created throughout the late 19th century. Decorated with curling waves, nymphs, mermaids and dolphins, these magnificent trophies recall the pageantry surrounding the great ocean races of the time.
Among the era's most richly embellished yachting trophies are the legendary Goelet Cups. These were commissioned by Ogden Goelet, a prominent member of the New York Yacht Club, who made Newport, Rhode Island, synonymous with yachting. Today the New York Yacht Club is home to 21 magnificent Tiffany yachting trophies.
For the sport that would become the great American pastime, Tiffany created the first world championship baseball trophy in 1888. The Hall Championship Cup depicts the five people necessary to play a game: umpire, catcher, pitcher, batter and outfielder. Tiffany also designed the All-Star Home Run Derby trophy and the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award for Major League Baseball, which is awarded at the discretion of the Commissioner. Three outstanding athletes received the award for historic achievement in the 1998 season: Mark McGwire for breaking the single-season home run record with 70 home runs; Sammy Sosa for scoring 66 home runs in the home run race; and Cal Ripken Jr. for setting a new record of 2,632 consecutive games played, breaking Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games.
Major League Baseball commissioned Tiffany to create one of the most celebrated awards in all of sports: the World Series Trophy. The design features 30 flags, one for each Major League team, with latitude/longitude lines symbolizing the world. Tiffany also creates the World Series MVP Trophy.
During the twentieth century, new sports emerged for which Tiffany was called upon to create trophies. In 1904 Tiffany produced the Vanderbilt Cup, named for William K. Vanderbilt who organized a 284-mile auto race on Long Island to stimulate interest in American-made cars. The trophy, which depicts Mr. Vanderbilt in his 90-horsepower Mercedes, was re-created in 1996 for the inaugural U.S. 500 auto race and became the championship trophy for the Champ Car World Series in 2000.
As interest in auto racing grew, so did the trophy size. In 1909 Tiffany designed the eight-foot Wheeler-Schebler Trophy. Commissioned by the Wheeler and Schebler Companies of Indianapolis, the trophy was awarded annually to the driver of the Indianapolis 500 who led the race at the 400-mile mark. The trophy was retired in the 1930s after car owner Harry Hartz won the trophy three consecutive times. Today Tiffany creates the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, awarded annually to the winning driver and owner of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race
More recently, football has taken center stage as the country's most popular spectator sport. In 1959 the National Football Foundation commissioned Tiffany to create the MacArthur Bowl honoring General Douglas MacArthur. The trophy is given to the year's best college football team selected by a poll conducted by the foundation.
In professional football, the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy marks the pinnacle of gridiron glory. Tiffany has produced the coveted trophy since the first Super Bowl in 1967. In 1970 the trophy was renamed for Vince Lombardi, the late Green Bay Packers coach who led the Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowls. The design features a regulation-size football in kicking position.
With the invention of basketball, America gained yet another major spectator and team sport. In 1978 Tiffany captured the game's grace and exuberance with the National Basketball Association Championship Trophy, re-named in 1984 for Larry O'Brien, the former NBA Commissioner. In 1997 Tiffany designed the Women's National Basketball Association Championship Trophy, which features a seven-inch basketball supported by three columns set in a curved triangular base.
Once a year, New York City clears a path through its five boroughs for the marathon that draws the world's best runners, thousands of running enthusiasts and millions of spectators. The male and female winners of this popular event are presented with the Samuel Rudin Trophy. Created in 1984, the sterling silver tray features an etched map of the boroughs with the race course highlighted in blue enamel.
Tiffany creates the trophies for many other sports as well. These commissions include the United States Open Tennis Championship Trophy; the Citizen Cup, awarded to the winner of the Defenders Series leading to the America's Cup race; the PGA TOUR FedExCup Trophy and EDS Byron Nelson Championship Trophy; the Alan I. Rothenberg Championship Trophy awarded to the Major League Soccer Cup Champion; and the Triple Crown of Polo Championship Trophy.
In addition, Tiffany has designed Super Bowl rings, most recently for the 2007 New York Giants, winners of Super Bowl XLII; World Series Championship rings; Olympic medals for the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York; and the crystal and sterling silver Breeders Crown for harness racing.
Inspired by the transcendent form and energy of athletic competition at the highest level, these outstanding Tiffany designs epitomize the goal of greatness and are some of the most cherished icons of American sports.
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