Famous Awards – The Open’s Claret Jug

The Open Championship (a.k.a. the British Open), one of the four men’s Major Championships in the sport of golf, ends with the awarding of the iconic Claret Jug Trophy to the winner.  Spike’s Trophies carries a replica of this award that can be purchased and awarded by you.  You may not be familiar with the origins of the Claret Jug trophy, I wasn’t.

20070721-claretjug

The Claret Jug, or to use its proper name, The Golf Champion Trophy, is presented to each year’s winner of The Open Championship. Yet it was not the original prize.  When the Championship began at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland in 1860, the winner was presented with …

… the Challenge Belt, made of rich morocco leather, embellished with a silver buckle and emblems.  It wasn’t until 1872 that the “Jug” replaced the Champion’s Belt.

20070721-openbelt

Like other iconic awards, like Lord Stanley’s Cup or the Green Jacket, the Claret Jug has long held a mystical and celebratory quality.  In designing the Claret Jug, it was well, just that – a claret jug. Claret is a dry red wine produced in the famous French winemaking region of Bordeaux.  The British Open Trophy, made of Sterling Silver and standing 52cm (approximately 20 inches), weighing 5.4 pounds including its base, was designed with a handle that resembles a bass clef and with insides hollowed out to hold the exact contents of a bottle of wine.  Certified appraisers have estimated that the Claret Jug may include as much as $1,200 worth of precious metals.  The sentimental and market value of the award is far greater.  It was made in Edinburgh in 1872 by Mackay Cunningham & Company.  There are now three tiers beneath the cup, engraved with the names of over 130 plus champions.  Every year, the winner’s name is engraved on the Claret Jug before it is presented to him.  The television coverage now shows the engraver poised to start work, with the commentators speculating about when he will be sure enough of the outcome, to begin hand engraving the next name.

Held upside down, the Open’s Claret Jug delivers a perfect pour.  This style of silver jug was used to serve claret at 19th Century gatherings.  The Golf Champion’s Trophy has held cheap beer, expensive Champagne and iced tea brewed by Justin Leonard’s mother.  Tiger Woods, winner of a few “Jugs”, has taken the trophy down from the mantle at times and filled it with various libations.  “Honestly, because of the consumption, I really can’t remember,” Woods said of what he put in it.

The original claret jug is kept under lock and key in a display cabinet in the R&A clubhouse, alongside the original first prize, The Challenge Belt, which was donated to the club in 1908 by the grandchildren of Tom Morris Senior.  There are in fact four copies of the original claret jug, one in the Museum of Golf at St Andrews, another in the World Golf Hall of Fame in St Augustine, Florida.  A third travels the world to exhibitions and the champion is allowed to take a fourth home for a year. He is given a replica to keep which is curiously only two-thirds the size of the original. Since the 1980s all those champion jug-hugging moments photographed for the world on the 18th green are with a replica. The trophy is returned each year for presentation to the new champion, but many winners privately commission copies of the ancient jug for their personal collections. This tournament is golf’s oldest major championship and, given its history, it holds a lot of prestige for its victors.

The Beginning
The impetus to provide the Challenge Belt had come from the Earl of Eglinton and derived from his keen interest in medieval pageantry. He was pre-eminent in encouraging sport throughout the social spectrum and was a leading light in setting up The Open Championship. The Earl donated many trophies for competition, including a gold belt for competition among the Irvine Archers. The original Challenge Belt was purchased by the members of Prestwick Golf Club.

According to the first rule of the new golf competition: “The party winning the belt shall always leave the belt with the treasurer of the club until he produces a guarantee to the satisfaction of the above committee that the belt shall be safely kept and laid on the table at the next meeting to compete for it until it becomes the property of the winner by being won three times in succession.”

In 1870, just 10 years after The Open Championship began, Tom Morris Junior won for the third consecutive time and became the owner of the belt. The future direction of the Championship was discussed at Prestwick Golf Club’s Spring Meeting in April 1871, during which a key proposal was put forward by Gilbert Mitchell Innes: “In contemplation of St Andrews, Musselburgh and other clubs joining in the purchase of a Belt to be played for over four or more greens it is not expedient for the club to provide a Belt to be played for solely at Prestwick.”

The motion was passed, but no final decisions were reached about venues or the involvement of other clubs, with the result that The Open Championship was not played in 1871. Moves to revive the competition resumed the following year. The minutes of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, dated May 1, state that the green committee had been “empowered to enter into communication with other clubs with a view to effecting a revival of the Championship Belt, and they were authorized to contribute a sum not exceeding £15 from the funds of the club”.

To replace the original Challenge Belt, the three original clubs (Prestwick, with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers), finally agreed on September 11, 1872, to pay £10 each to provide a new trophy instead of another belt, which was a silver claret jug, and to jointly host the Open Championship. But that was only two days before eight players contested the Open. There was obviously no time to commission a new trophy and the winner was presented with what appears to be a standard, shop-bought medal (pre-dating Spike’s Trophies by 57 years). It was the first time that a medal had been presented. The famous claret jug trophy was hallmarked 1873. Its proper name was to be The Golf Champion Trophy. It was presented to the winner that year and every year for almost half a century. The first Open Champion to receive the new trophy was the 1873 winner, Tom Kidd, but Tom Morris Junior’s name was the first to be engraved on it as the 1872 winner.

In 1920 all responsibility for The Open Championship was handed over to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The tradition continued until three months after Bobby Jones won the championship at St Andrews in 1927. At that time the Championship Committee of the R&A decided that “in future the original Open Championship Cup be retained in possession of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and that a duplicate be obtained for presentation to the winners”. The cost of this duplicate was stated to be about £40.

In 1928, Walter Hagen won the third of his four Open titles and accepted the replica Claret Jug, having already been presented with the original in 1922 and 1924. During the half-century in which the original Claret Jug was used, twenty-eight different players held it aloft, including Harry Vardon on a record six occasions.

In 1990 a further replica was made for display in the new British Golf Museum at St Andrews and in 2000 a third was made for use in traveling exhibitions, and a fourth was created in 2003 for the same purpose.

Memorable moment: In 1999, Paul Lawrie completed the greatest comeback in Open history, starting the final round 10 strokes off the lead while being assisted by Jean Van de Velde’s unforgettable triple bogey on the 18th hole.

Recognizing Everyday Greatness: Rick Leonetti

Rick LeonettiIn 2002 Rick Leonetti was elected president of Council Rock North High School Football Booster Club and started on a mission to get student athletes and booster members to help others who are less fortunate. What started as club volunteer work with the Special Olympics has grown into the Regional charity: Athletes Helping Athletes.

The mission of Athletes Helping Athletes, Inc. is to connect local special needs athletes with mainstream student-athletes in the spirit of friendship for their mutual benefit and inspiration. AHA, Inc. believes that a world of greater acceptance for all can begin with our children, sharing athletic experiences and a love for sport while developing compassion and mutual respect. Founded in 2001 Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA) provides funding to special needs organizations throughout Bucks County while building awareness, and offering extra-curricular events.

Spike shoot & EDG1 046For many children with special needs finding social acceptance can be challenging. “We started to find opportunity through a series of sports programs for special needs children when we met Rick Leonetti who introduced us to the world of AHA. What a great idea…. What a better way to bridge the gap of social acceptance than to partner typical peers with special needs children in one of the most universally accepted activities –SPORTS.”  Roseann Fox

Rick has worked tirelessly raising tens of thousands of dollars and organizing AHA events like Football Fun Nights, Soccer Fun Days, and Spring Training Baseball Days where students from main stream schools and those from the special needs community can get together to play ball, have fun, and build friendships. “Jen discovered a bit about herself and how helping others can bring a sense of goodness, self worth, and satisfaction that is hard to match. These experiences are helping her understand what she wants to pursue as a career path.” Bernie.

These events help to build a community for special needs athletes and their families. Building confidence, and providing a place for special needs athletes to fulfill their desire to participate in sports. “Dylans confidence is through the roof right now…..[he] has been practicing baseball practicing baseball since the baseball clinic and has been non-stop talking about his Pirates team.” Diane

With out the persistent efforts of Rick Leonetti this amazing organization would not be in existence today, he has touch the lives of many in his community and exemplified greatness to many young students.

RL Plaque

*** Quotes/excerpts in this article have been taken from testimonials found on the Athletes Helping Athletes site. To read the full stories sent to AHA please visit: AthletesHelpingAthletes.com and click on the “Testimonials” link on the left hand side.

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame 10th Induction Class

On June 6th the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame held a Press Conference at the Society Hill Sheraton in Philadelphia to announce Class X inductees to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

The seventeen new inductees bring the total number of Inductees to 152! They come from 14 different sports at the professional, collegiate, and scholastic level as well as 14 Legacy of Excellence inductees that consist of radio & TV broadcasters, sportswriters, authors, and other contributors both local & national.

This years inductees include former Phillies player Greg Luzinski a member of the 1980 world Series Championship team, Linda Page a local high school All-American basketball player while attending Dobbins Tech, and Joe Hand Sr.(Legacy of Excellence) a local Boxing promoter who helped guide Joe Frazier to the Heavyweight Championship and pioneered closed-circuit sporting events.

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is an all volunteer non-profit corporation founded in May 2002. Recently opening up its first public display gallery, at Spike’s Trophies, fans can go view the Preview Gallery Saturdays and during the week by appointment. The Gallery showcases items that represent Philadelphia History such as pieces of the original Palestra floor, a jersey worn by Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik, and a complete set of 1930 World Series Tickets.  Some exhibits will rotate throughout the year to showcase different athletes from the area’s sports history.

Come check it out at:

Spike’s Trophies:

2701 Grant Ave

Philadelphia PA 19112

Saturdays 9am-1pm or make an appointment by calling 215.923.5121
Inductee Class X

Recognizing Everyday Greatness- Connie & Hank Angus

Hank Angus starting the run in 2012

Connie and Hank Angus are two of the strongest and most inspirational people I know. Each year they bring together complete and total strangers and form a family with one common goal, to help beat pediatric cancer.

On September 15, 2004 they received the most devastating news of their lives, their 4 year old son Gabe was diagnosed with Leukemia. With the help of Penn State THON, Four Diamonds Fund (FDF), and Hershey medical Gabe is now 13 and completely healthy. In fact this past November he celebrated his 5 year remission!

As amazing as that is it’s not the story I want to share with you. In 2007 Hank & Connie decided they wanted to give back, the plan was to run 135 miles from Hershey Medical Center to Penn State the weekend of their 46 hour dance marathon(where most of the funding for FDF comes from) to bring letters to the dancer from the kids at Hershey who are too sick to attend.

They got together other FDF families and started the Hope Express, then called THON Express. Hope Express is a team of 16 runners who run 135 miles (and an 8 person Extreme team who run 140miles) over a 24 hour period. The team consists of THON alumni as well as current and past Four Diamonds Families. Just as THON dancers participate in the no-sitting, no-sleeping, two day dance marathon held every February, enduring hours of fatigue, pain and delirium, the Hope Express runners will have to endure the cold, harsh, winter weather of a very cold night in February.

To make this happen Connie, Hank, and their three children: Gabe, Veronica, and Sydney give up a good deal of their free time to coordinate Fundraising, runner selection process, and pick a team of moralers to help along the route. They open up their home to all the runners, moralers, and countless Penn State Students for various weekends through out the year.

Bringing THON alumni together they form a family out of complete strangers. Inspiring hope in each person involved they ban together with one goal in mind: to help the families of children battling cancer. They inspire every person they meet to believe that nothing is impossible, that with hard work, strength, and family even the craziest ideas can become a reality.

In 2013 the Hope Express raised over $93,000 for the FDF and their goal continues to grow each year. They go above and beyond each day to help families and children they have never met in the hopes that one day no parent will ever have to hear the words “your child has cancer”.

The Angus Family After the Run

The Angus Family After the Run

How Grammy Winners are Chosen

Grammy Award

If you are anything like me the Grammys are about sitting around with friends to watch over the top performances (remember Pinks acrobatics in 2012?), gawk over the gorgeous gowns you could never afford, and make fun of the obnoxious gowns you would never want to afford (not going to lie – this is my favorite part of the whole night).

However, I’ve never really thought about how the winners are decided, they just happen. There is actually a fairly long process that goes into this decision and unlike American Idol and VMA’s we get no say. Grammy nominations are decided by The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences(NARAS).

NARAS was formed in 1957 and consists of musicians, producers, recording engineers and various other reordering professionals. Since 1959  have been best known for the Grammy Awards or “Gramophone Awards” as it was originally called; named after the trophy which is a small golden gramophone.(old fashioned but a golden i-pod would probably looks silly)

The Grammys always acknowledge achievements from the year prior- so the 2013 Grammys are for albums that came out in 2012. Nominations are made by record companies and individuals online with a physical copy of the work to be sent in to the NARAS.

One hundred and fifty music experts are appointed with the task of going through the nominations for all 81 categories and deciding if it meets the criteria for the category it has been nominated for. This list is then sent out to all NARAS members to vote on.

All members vote within the general fields (not restricted by genera):

  • Record of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Best New Artist

    They then choose 9 out of the 29 other fields to vote in.(ex: Pop , Latin, Gospel)  The top five nominees from each category become the Grammy Nominees that get announced to the world……. the process is still not over!!

    The top five are voted on by all Recording Academy Members who again vote in the general categories and then choose 8 out of the 30 fields (preferable ones they have experience in).

    Votes are counted and Winners are announced live at the Grammys. Though I don’t always agree with the winners chosen; for the Artist it’s an accomplishment that is recognized by their peers and not just their fans. And no nominee walks away empty handed, for those who do not win the Gramophone Award, there is a medal given out(see below)- the design for which has varied over the years.

    So tune in February 10th 8pm EST to see what Gaga wears next, watch Elton John perform with Ed Sheeran, and find out who the Academy has deemed the best of 2012.

    If you want to learn more about how the Grammy itself is made click here:  http://blog.gospikes.com/?p=160

    1971 Grammy Medallion

    1971 Grammy Medallion

    The “Official” Name For The “Coaches’ Trophy” Is….

    The coveted top honor in college football, the crystal “Coaches’ Trophy”, as it is known, is fought for and won following the FedEx BCS Championship Game in January, in an on-field ceremony following the game.

    Full-Sized Coaches Trophy

    The “official” name for the “Coaches’ Trophy” is….

    …the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Championship Trophy and is awarded by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to the winner of college football’s BCS National Championship Game, which determines the national champion for purposes of the Coaches Poll. The trophy has been awarded since 1986 and has been tied to the winner of the BCS National Championship Game since 1998. The winning institution retains the AFCA Trophy for permanent display on campus, as a new one is awarded every year.

    The trophy is made of a Waterford® Crystal actual size crystal football affixed to an ebony base, and has an estimated value of over $30,000 (est.2009). The overall trophy is 34 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. The football portion of the trophy weighs approximately 7 pounds. It is handmade by an artist in Ireland and takes nearly 3 months to complete. The handmade Crystal football is an exquisite design that contains intricate deep cuts that reflect a rainbow of color and light–making each one truly a work of art. It is designed to become a cherished heirloom.  This elegant trophy is a proud treasure symbolizing monumental hard work, dedication and success. It is the top award in NCAA Division 1 Football.

    Coaches Trophy

    The trophy has undergone several sponsorship changes over the years. It was sponsored by the Gerrits Foundation during the initial 1986 and 1987 seasons.  Pepsi came aboard as a co-sponsor in 1988 and 1989. McDonald’s was the sole sponsor from 1990 until 1992. Sears became the trophy’s sponsor in 1993 and remained so until 2001. Circuit City assumed sponsorship duties for the 2002season. ADT Security Services, the current sponsor, took over in 2003. As the sponsor obtains naming rights to the trophy, its current name is actually the “ADT National Championship Trophy.”

    Since 1986, the winner of the UPI or USA Today Coaches’ Poll has received the Coaches’ Trophy.

    A little known fact of the Coaches’ Trophy… is that in 2006 the triumphant University of Florida football team suffered an accident with the BCS championship trophy. The awarded and coveted crystal trophy was knocked off its pedestal and destroyed. No details of who was responsible or how it was destroyed are known. A new trophy was created and presented. The Gators have won three national championships, also earning crystal footballs in 1996 and 2006.

    The Only Sports Trophy Named After a Person Is…

    What is the only championship trophy of the major professional sports leagues (NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA) that is not named after a particular person? …

    20081030-mlb.shane

    The “Flying Hawaiian” (Shane Victorino) kisses the Commissioner’s Trophy

    The Commissioner’s Trophy, which is awarded to the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Champion.  The other professional sport league awards are named after Lord Stanley (the Stanley Cup -NHL), Vince Lombardi (the Vince Lombardi Trophy -NFL), and Larry O’Brien (Larry O’Brien Trophy – NBA).

    Winning the Commissioner’s Trophy brings tears of joy to the eyes of grown men, and to a city starved for a winner.  It is an experience seeing the streets of a city fill to capacity with cheering passionate fans.  As Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams (ex-player and current broadcaster) said so accurately “winning the championship allows all of us to act as if we are all 8 years old once again”…without a care – experiencing sheer joy. Winning the ultimate award in your profession, after years of sacrifice and hard work, brings emotion – heartfelt, deep emotion. The presentation of the Commissioner’s trophy captures and symbolizes the accomplishment.

    The Commissioner’s Trophy, designed by Lawrence Voegele, of Owatanna, Minnesota, was first awarded in 1967, when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox. The trophy is unlike the Stanley Cup, which is passed down, year by year, to the champions of the National Hockey League, a new Commissioner’s Trophy is created each year, much like the Vince Lombardi Trophy of the National Football League and the Larry O’Brien Trophy of the National Basketball Association.

    The current trophy, was redesigned slightly in 1999 and made by Tiffany & Co and presented for first time at the conclusion of the 2000 World Series, which was won by the New York Yankees. The trophy is presented to the ownership of the World Series-winning team by the Commissioner of Baseball. In addition to the team trophy, each player recieves a World Series Championship Ring.

    It is made of sterling silver and is 24 inches tall, excluding the base. It is 11 inches around and weighs approximately 30 pounds. The trophy features 30 gold-plated, hand-furled flags, one for each of the Major League teams. The flags surround and rise above an arched silver ox baseball with latitude and longitude lines that symbolize the world. The baseball also contains 24-karat vermeil baseball stitches. The baseball itself weighs over 10 pounds. The base contains the inscription and the signature of the commissioner. The estimated value of the trophy is approximately $15,000. The front design has been changed slightly from the last modification in 1999, now having two different size bases.

    20081030-world_series

    The previous design contained a gold crown at the top of a haloed gold metal circle with a silver metallic baseball at the base. Two logoed pins, representing the winning teams, were mounted in front of the metal halo. This design proved too delicate, which necessitated the redesign.

    20081030-mlb.old
    The Commissioner’s Trophy is awarded each year by Major League Baseball to the team winning the World Series. The World Series is played between the champion clubs of the American League and the National League, which collectively include 30 clubs based in the United States and one club from Canada. The “modern” World Series has been an annual event since 1903.

    Baseball has employed various championship formulas since the 1860s. When the term “World Series” is used by itself, it is usually understood to refer to the “modern” World Series exclusively. The first modern World Series was between the Boston Americans (as in “American Leaguers” — now the Red Sox) of the American League and the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League in 1903. Boston won the Series 5 games to 3, helping to establish the new league’s credibility. However, the next year, the National League champion New York Giants refused to play the American League champions (Boston again) because of the alleged inferiority of the American League, along with the legitimate claim that there were no formal or standard rules for this championship (a factor which had helped kill the 1880s version of the Series). In response, the World Series was instituted in 1905 as a permanent institution, through which the leagues would “meet annually in a series of games for the Professional Base Ball Championship of the World.
    The original World Series held in 1903, was a best of nine affair. No World Series was held in 1904 and the best of seven series was used until 1919. The five-of-nine format was used from 1919 through 1921, but it reverted back to a best-of-seven series in 1922. That is the same format used today.

    Is Your Employee Recognition Aligned with Your Company Values?

    Spike’s believes that companies should show appreciation to their best employees with recognition programs that reinforce and showcase your company values.  A well thought out recognition tactic to emphasize a value or action that is important to your company, will spread and assist to improve your company culture.

    In their “10 Proven Tactics for Rock Solid Recognition,” Recognition Professionals International (RPI) mentions that part of growing a wonderful employee recognition program is learning from the best. Look at companies that are known for their recognition programs for inspiration, and choose the tactics that will work best for your company culture.

    You can start your search for inspiration with TELUS Communications, the winner of the    2011 Best Practice Standards® Award for Best Overall Recognition Program.  The key to the success of this program was the companies commitment to create a culture of appreciation and motivate their employees in order to promote values the company upholds: corporate citizenship and environmentalism. TELUS tailored the rewards of their employee recognition programs to fit their values: employees could choose to donate recognition points to charities in their communities, or they could have a tree planted to celebrate career milestones.

    A reward that reflects company values can prove more significant and memorable than one chosen at random. How can your company provide meaningful rewards that are aligned with your values?

    Got Acknowledgment?

    GoldStar

    Knowing I was in the Recognition and Appreciation businesss, a  freind recently forwarded an article by the editor of the Chief Learning Officer magazine.  The article starts with the question “Remember the Gold Star?   The editor goes on to back up his feelings about being acknowledged and the feeling of importance he recieved by “seeing a gold star on my paper”.

    Current findings in positive psychology and organizational development suggest that people and organizations flourish when they focus on achievements and best practices.

    The editor’s letter states that “In her thought-provoking book The Power of Acknowledgment, Judith W. Umlas maintains that acknowledging each other’s accomplishments, talent and wisdom on a continuous basis is the grown-up equivalent of the grade school gold star and can revolutionize the workplace.”  To read the article please visit http://clomedia.com/articles/view/got-acknowledgment.

    If you would like to acknowledge someone in your organization with a “Gold Star” click here.

    Did you realize that AWARDS are Tax Deductible???

    Effective employee recognition enhances employee motivation and satisfaction, increases employee productivity, and contributes to improved organizational performance. Organizations that do employee recognition well – and they’re a minority – tend to have a recognition strategy that is integrated, multi-faceted, and multi-tiered. This means that recognition is:

    • Intended to support and value employees, to positively reinforce their initiative and creativity, and to enhance business performance.
    • Available for a wide variety of achievements and contributions, such as: innovations and improvements, performance excellence and meritorious actions, and length of service.
    • Presented at different levels depending on the accomplishment significance.

     

    …And Do You Know the TAX BENEFITS of Recognition??

    An employer can deduct up to $400 for employee achievement
    awards provided to any single employee during a qualified
    recognition awards program initiative during that tax year.

     

    So, Did You Know We Can Provide?

    • Fast Track Recognition Solutions
    • Program Support Services
    • Dedicated Customer Service Support Specialists
    • Toll-free number and online ordering
    • Specialized graphic art support
    • Custom packaging and fulfillment
    • E-mail notification with order tracking
    • E-commerce support
    • Marketing and communication support