As the 80th annual Masters Tournament gets under way in Augusta, GA at the renowned Augusta National Golf Course, 89 pro and amateur golfers are set to compete for one of the most coveted sports trophies of all time … the Masters Green Jacket. Certainly not the traditional hardware you display on a fireplace mantel but awesome nonetheless.
In the world of sports, this Kelly green sports coat is worthy of a top 10 trophy. But, what would round out the list? Glad you asked. I've cobbled together the greatest sports trophies of all time. Mind you, they may not signify the best sports, or your favorite sport for that matter. But, as coolness and visual aesthetics go, what follows is the best of the best. Disagree? Then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me what should be removed and what should be added.
10. World Series Trophy – A.k.a. the Commissioner’s Trophy, it contains 30 flags representing the teams from the National and the American Leagues. It was first presented in 1967, went through some changes through the years with the current trophy debuting in 2000. This is the only American major sports trophy created by Tiffany & Co. to make the list.
9. Barclay’s Premier League – Nothing says "championship" like a loving cup. The trophy awarded to the winners of England's top professional soccer league is a weighty 55 lbs. and includes two lions atop the handle, a crown on top and ribbons in the color of the winning team. The lions represent the three lions that adorn the crest for the English national soccer team. The third lion is represented by the player who holds it aloft and the crown signifies the crowning champions.
8. Indy 500 – The Borg Warner Trophy has been awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 1936. It includes a base relief sculpture of each driver's face who has won the race since 1911. Standing 5 feet tall, it weighs in at 153 lbs. The man with the checker flag atop the trophy is in fact naked. Not sure why.
7. Wimbledon – Both the ladies’ and gentlemen’s trophies are true classics. The loving cup for the gentlemen has been presented to the winner since 1887. The ladies’ winner is awarded a sterling silver plate known as the Rosewater Dish, which is adorned with etched symbols from mythology. The trophies, however, stay at The All England Lawn Tennis Club and the winners take home smaller replicas.
6. FIFA World Cup – Though small (it stands only 14.4”) the trophy is hefty, weighing in at 13.5 pounds. Known as the Jules Rimet Trophy it features two humans twisting, arms aloft holding the world in their hands. A massive international soccer tournament to say the least. Currently 204 countries are trying to qualify to make it to Russia in 2018 and hold this trophy overhead.
5. Daytona 500 – NASCAR’s Harley J. Earl Trophy has a massive 4’ x 5’ tri-oval (the shape of the Daytona International Speedway track) shaped base but it's surprisingly light at 54 lbs. The top includes a replica of the Firebird 1 concept car designed by the trophy's namesake. That car alone makes this one of the coolest trophies ever.
4. Master’s Green Jacket – Since 1949, the winner has officially been bestowed with the jacket signifying his membership to Augusta National. He’s allowed to keep it for one year then it must be returned to the club.
3. Heisman Trophy – The Downtown Athletic Club has been recognizing the most outstanding college football player since 1935. This iconic sculpture is only 13.5” tall but it has considerable weight at 25 lbs. It’s named for John Heisman, the director of the club for many years. Though many winners have been busts in the NFL, they still posses something that says they were great at one time.
2. Claret Jug – We Americans know this golf tournament as the British Open, but the rest of the world calls it The Open and it has presented the Claret Jug to the winner since 1872. The original has been on display at The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews since 1882 which is when the current jug was rolled out. This is the only trophy where the winner’s name is etched on it before receiving it.
1. Stanley Cup – The greatest trophy ever. It’s grown over the years from a simple bowl in 1893 to what we know today. The names of the winning team’s players, coaches and club officials are etched onto the bottom-most band. When that band is full, a new band is added to the bottom and the top-most band of the same size is removed. This keeps the trophy from becoming too unwieldy. Winners actually keep the cup until the next championship and each player gets to have his own day with it. It's been taken to bars, left on the road side, thrown into a swimming pool and more than one player has cuddled it at night while sleeping. It stands 3’ high and weighs 35 lbs.