Famous Awards: The Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy

Here at Spike’s, we know there’s nothing like the roar of the crowd when the shot clock is winding down at the end of the game and the step-back three is good for the game-tying points. When the pretty dime leads to the alley-oop, statement dunk on the other end of the pass. When the off-hand, hesitatio n dribble breaks ankles and allows a drive to the hoop. In case you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s NBA Playoffs time.

 

When it comes to national basketball, This is the best time to be a fan. The NBA Finals begin June 2nd, at the end of that series, one team will be awarded the much sought-after Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

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A History

In 1947, the first Basketball Association of America championship was held. In 1949, the Basketball Association of America was rebranded the National Basketball Association. From 1947 to 1983, the winning team of the finals received the Walter A. Brown Trophy. From 1975 to 1984, Larry O’Brien served as the commissioner of the NBA. During his 9 years as commissioner, O’Brien organized a number of landmark deals that allowed basketball to become the major national sport it is today, including the ABA-NBA Merger, the transfer of broadcast rights to CBS for a better contract, modified the college draft, reached an anti-drug agreement with the NBA Players Association and oversaw a number of major changes that modernized the sport.

 

In 1983, as the NBA was experiencing an eruption in attendance and national interest, they renamed the Walter A. Brown Trophy, the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Since 1983, both the design and the name of the trophy has remained the same.

 

Construction

The award weighs 14.5 pounds and stands two feet tall. It depicts a basketball rolling over the rim and into the hoop. The ball is near regulation size, nine inches in diameter. It is constructed of sterling silver and vermeil with a 24 karat gold overlay.  Manufactured by Tiffany.co, each of the trophies is valued at 13,500.

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The most recent recipients of the trophy were the Golden State Warriors, but 2016 could prove to be a different year.

 

Whether it’s high-school baseball trophies in PA, or basketball trophies on national TV, at Spike’s we think it’s worth recognizing recognition.

Awards Spotlight: NHL Individual Awards

Here at Spike’s Trophies, we know there’s nothing like a powerplay late in the third period when the score is tied. There’s nothing like the slap of the stick as the puck barrels towards the goal in mid-air. Whether that puck meets net or glove, when the game is on the line, especially during playoff season, we all hold our breath. In the NHL, it’s Stanley Cup Playoffs time.

 

The Stanley Cup is a big deal in the world of professional sports; it’s the highest honor that a North American hockey team can receive. There are a few other special awards in the National Hockey League that fans look forward to as well; the individual awards.

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The Hart Memorial Trophy

Named after Dr. David Hart, The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team. Each year since 1924 (with the exception of 2005), The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the most valuable player following the conclusion of the regular season. Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky won the award an unprecedented 9 times (8 consecutively). Gretzky is the only player in North American sports to have received an MVP award that many times.

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The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Named in honor of Marie “Lady Byng” Evelyn Moreton, the trophy is awarded to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Frank Boucher won the award 7 times in 8 years and still holds the record for most times awarded. Wayne Gretzky also won it five times. The trophy has been awarded to a player every season since 1925.

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The Vezina Trophy

 

Awarded to the top goaltender during the regular season, The Vezina Trophy is named for Georges Vezina of the Montreal Canadiens. Jacques Plante holds the record for most times awarded the trophy with 7. Thankfully, Wayne Gretzky couldn’t get this one

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The King Clancy Award

Francis “King” Clancy was one of hockey’s greatest humanitarians. Each year, the award that shares his name is awarded to the NHL player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.” No player has ever received the award more than once since its inception in 1988. The recipient of the trophy is decided by a panel of representatives from the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the NHL Broadcasters Association.

 

At Spike’s we commend commendation, we think it’s important to recognize an individual that stands out, whether it’s an office plaque in Philadelphia or a trophy on the national ice.

Famous Awards: The Stanley Cup

Each year, teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences of the National Hockey League compete for The Stanley Cup, the most prestigious award in North American Hockey. The Cup is awarded to the victor of a seven-game series called The Stanley Cup Finals. Teams in the NHL compete for records all season that will allow them to enter the playoffs for a shot at being crowned the winner for that year.

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The Stanley Cup is the oldest Trophy in all of North American professional sports. First awarded in 1893 after being commissioned by Lord Stanley of Preston, it has been passed from team to team for more than 120 years. By comparison, the Super Bowl just awarded its 50th trophy to a team. It was created when Lord Stanley first witnessed the game of hockey in Montreal. He fell in love with the sport and his entire family became involved in the sport. The award that Lord Stanley purchased for the reigning champions of the sport was a decorative punch bowl. A recreation of the original silver punch bowl still stands atop the trophy today.

The Stanley Cup has been redesigned several times in the past century. In its current iteration, it stands just under 3 feet tall, features a “cup” (which is actually a rose bowl) at the top of the trophy and has five bands around the base where the winning team and names of players are inscribed. When all five bands are filled by inscription, the one closest to the top (the oldest) is removed and placed in the Hockey Hall of Fame, so that a new blank band can be placed at the bottom. The Cup is made from Silver-Nickel Alloy to make it more durable and more likely to survive the celebrations of overjoyed hockey players.

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Tradition has survived much longer than the original cup, for more than a century, winning hockey teams have kissed the award and drank Champagne from its bowl.

At Spike’s Trophies, we always look forward to seeing great people receive great awards. As one of the oldest producers and sellers of plaques and trophies in PA, we know the importance of recognizing a winner.

Famous Awards: The 2016 Grammy’s

Since 1959, The grammy’s have marked the previous year’s achievement in music. The record executives of the 1950’s expressed their interest in having an award ceremony akin to the Oscars or the Emmys. After forming the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, or NARAS, the first annual award show was held. Named after Emile Berliner’s invention, The Gramophone, The Grammy’s have stood as an immense honor in the music industry for more than half a century.

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The Grammy award itself depicts an idealized gramophone in gold atop a black base where the award is inscribed. The award was altered from its original iteration in 1990 when it began to use a gold-plated metal-alloy instead of gold-plated lead, to make it more durable. The awards given during the ceremony are actually props that are recycled every year. The real award isn’t inscribed with the recipient’s name and achievement until after the event.

In 2016, there were 83 Grammy’s Awarded to artists, totaling more than 8,000 awards given since the first ceremony. The categories for awards varied from Best Music Film to Best Choral Performance to Best Rap Album. Each year, artists nominated for awards perform during the ceremony. The performances have always been momentous from Prince’s energetic “seven splits” performance in 1985 to Pink’s Aerial Gymnastics in 2011.

 

A Grammy Award or nomination has been shown to greatly increase the sales of a record according to Billboard, but since the turn of the century, many have questioned the relevance of an award ceremony for a medium that just doesn’t make money the way it used to. It’s no secret that physical album sales are way down and the music industry is having a harder time producing blockbuster artists. Despite this, The Grammy’s have maintained their relevance by constantly refining their roster of categories, slating the biggest artists to perform and of course, revering the greats of yesteryear.

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Here at Spike’s, we enjoy a good award show. As one of the best creators and sellers of sales awards in PA we just love to see people commemorated for a breakout performance, whether it’s on music’s biggest stage or the little league diamond.

 

Famous Awards: The Naismith Trophy

At Spike’s Trophies, we know that an outstanding performance deserves to be commended. During those last seconds of regulation, when it’s a close game and the pressure is on, a player that can shake off the nerves and drain bucket after bucket is called a ‘clutch’ player. We think awards are pretty clutch too. Whether it’s high school baseball plaques and trophies or Basketball on the national stage, a trophy is the perfect compliment to achievement.

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Each year The Naismith Trophy is awarded to exemplary performances in non-professional Basketball. The categories for the trophy include College Player of the Year, College Coach of the Year, College Official of the Year, Outstanding Contributor to Basketball, High School Player of the Year and High School Coach of the year. The award is given to both men and women in all categories with the exception of Official of the Year and Contributor to Basketball.

 

The Naismith Trophy is considered the most prestigious award in all of non-professional Basketball, and for good reason, it’s awarded based on an entire season’s performance, not a tournament. The trophy gets its name from Dr. James Naismith, the man who invented Basketball in 1891 and was first awarded to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969.

 

The award itself was first designed and sculpted by Marty C. Dawe and has remained mostly the same for College Men’s Player of the Year, it depicts a player holding the ball to their side and raising one leg as if they are driving to the basket. The sculpture is plated gold and stands atop a wooden base with the achievement inscribed on the front side.

 

Each year, the winners for all categories are announced between March and mid-April. The award is given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to promoting, developing and celebrating the sport of Basketball.

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We’re always happy to see college basketball, who doesn’t love March Madness? The glamor of The Naismith Trophy is just one reason to watch all season. Whether it’s one of our customized awards in New Jersey or the biggest achievement in college basketball, we just love to see people get the recognition they deserve.

 

 

Famous Awards: The Country Music Awards

At Spike’s Trophies, we recognize the recognized, commemorate the commemorative, celebrate the celebratory. If you’ve got something to be proud of, we’re proud of you for being proud of it. When you do have such an occasion, we’ve got just the thing to impress– our inventory. We’ve been carrying trophies, awards and personalizable apparel since before you were knee high to a grasshopper. When you don’t want to get your office plaques and trophies all catawampus, our staff is here if you’ve got a mind to mark an achievement.

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This year is the 50th Country Music Awards. The awards mark the foremost commercial achievements that Country musicians, songwriters and personalities make each year. It’s the longest running televised musical award show in the world and this year is its half-centennial.

 

The Country Music Awards, just like Country music itself, is uniquely American. It celebrates an American artform, one that is characteristically southern but enjoyed not only in the rest of the country but across the world. The Country Music Awards have been held in Nashville, TN for the 50 years they have been around with the exception of 2005 when they were held at Madison Square Garden.

 

The Country Music Award itself was designed to resemble a chart bullet with its upward curvature. While the original design has remained mostly the same in the half century, the materials have changed. The original trophy was constructed out of walnut and featured a marble base. Today, the award stands at 15 inches tall, weighs 7.5 pounds and is made in Florence, Italy out of hand-blown, fine crystal.

Blake Shelton accepts the award for entertainer of the year at the 46th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville

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This year, the award show will again be televised on ABC.

 

We’re excited to see the performances and the awards, what we’re most excited for, however, is the looks on the winners’ faces. It’s what we here at Spike’s Trophies live for, the way a custom piece can make a person feel when they achieve something great. It’s a big part of the reason we do what we do. From customized awards in New Jersey to spirit wear in Delaware, we’ve got you covered, even if you’re off like a herd of turtles.

Famous Oscar Snubs

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Here at Spike’s Trophies, we like to commemorate people when they do noteworthy things. Everybody deserves an award at some point in their lives, from “Nobel Laureate Astronaut” to “Longest Shower Taker,” bringing home a trophy is special. We thought we could take an opportunity to share some of our biggest heartbreaks at The Oscars, one of the biggest award ceremonies of the year. Being in business since 1929 we’ve seen more than a few of them.

  • Leonardo Dicaprio- We’ll start off with the obvious choice. Leo wasn’t even nominated for his breakout performance in “Titanic”, one of the most memorable films of the 90’s. It’s become something of a joke in film that despite so many prestigious roles such as: “Catch Me if You Can,” ”Shutter Island”, “Inception”, “Django Unchained” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”, he’s never received an Academy Award. This year he’s nominated for his starring role in “The Revenant”. We’re rooting for you Leo!

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  • Alfred Hitchcock- Ask any burgeoning film student about their top 5 favorite directors and most of them are bound to mention Hitchcock. Seminal films like “Vertigo”, “North by Northwest”, “Psycho”, “Rear Window” and “Strangers on a Train” never took home the gold. Hitchcock received one Oscar when “Rebecca” won best picture in 1940.
  • Jamie Foxx- Ok, so he won an Academy Award for playing Ray Charles in “Ray” but he wasn’t even nominated as the title character in “Django Unchained”. Both Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Dicaprio were nominated for their work in that film, it was even up for best picture, but somehow Foxx was snubbed for his role.
  • Martin Scorsese- A master director, Scorsese’s films are both box office hits and critical darlings, he didn’t even receive a nod for the 1976 classic “Taxi Driver”. His films “Goodfellas”, “Casino”, “The Aviator”, and “Raging Bull” never won, but the curse was lifted in 2006 when he finally received an award for “The Departed”

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  • Stanley Kubrick- You read that name right, he never received an Oscar for his work as a director, producer or writer. His landmark film “2001: A Space Odyssey” received an Oscar for best visuals, a shameful concession. Kubrick was responsible for an entire course load of study in film: “Dr.Strangelove”, “A Clockwork Orange”, “The Shining”, “Spartacus” and “Full Metal Jacket”

Well, there you have it, our picks for the most glaring examples of academy snubbery. We think that everybody deserves to be commemorated when they do something exemplary. That’s why this year we’re saying it, if Leo doesn’t get an Oscar this year, he can stop by Spike’s Trophies and we’ll give him an award.

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The 2016 Lombardi Trophy

The Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the team that wins the Super Bowl each year, is one of the most iconic championship awards in North America. Getting its name from Vince Lombardi, The trophy is simple in design, depicting a regulation size football atop a three sided stand. This year is special because it will be the 50th time the trophy is awarded

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Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers in their back-to-back victories in the first two Super Bowls, at that time the award was known as the AFL-NFL Championship trophy. In 1971 the trophy was rechristened as the Vince Lombardi trophy, following the untimely passing of Coach Lombardi, when he lost his battle with cancer.

The first time the trophy was awarded under its present name was to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V. Strangely, this is the only Super Bowl Trophy not owned by the original team that won it. Baltimore retained the rights to the first official Lombardi Trophy following an extended legal battle with the Colts when the franchise moved to Indianapolis.

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The Lombardi Trophy stands 22 inches high and weighs about 7 pounds.  The trophy is crafted entirely of Sterling Silver and is manufactured by Tiffany & Co. Each year, the award is hand-crafted in a painstaking process, two are produced, in case something happens to the original trophy during the celebrations. The trophy awarded to the winning team is not the final version of the award, however. The Lombardi Trophy is sent back to the factory where it was produced following the game to have the final score, date, location and the two teams that played inscribed on it.  The trophy then makes its way back to the team. The owner decides where to house the award. Famously, Jerry Jones, owner of The Dallas Cowboys keeps all five of the franchise’s trophies in his office.

We hope you enjoyed our brief history of the Lombardi Trophy. If you need a trophy for a champion, overachiever or anyone else who deserves it, contact Spike’s Trophies to see what a nationally recognized team can do.

Famous Awards: Boxing’s World Heavyweight Title

There are a few things one can be in the world of North American sports that carry a significant amount of prestige. For instance, being the Yankees’ shortstop like Derek Jeter, the Cowboys’ quarterback like Troy Aikman, or the Flyers’ Center like Eric Lindros are positions that you might’ve aspired to play when you started playing sports. If you’re thinking that these sound too old timey or that they harken back to the 20th century, then think about it this way: Kids want to be the Patriots’ quarterback, the Yankees’ shortstop, and the Cavaliers’ small forward. Or, they want to be the world heavyweight champion.

Professional boxing’s popularity may be crumbling beneath the weight of mixed martial arts’ popularity in the 21st century, but being the world heavyweight champion has remained a significant achievement in the world of athletics since boxing champions started to receive belts. Even if the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO World Heavyweight titles mean nothing ten years from now, the men who have adorned these gaudy, wearable trophies are some of the greatest athletes to ever compete in any realm of sports.

It is with that in mind that we here at Spike’s pay homage to the greatness of the World Heavyweight Championship in our Famous Awards series.

History

Since the introduction of the Marquess of Queensberry rules (modern boxing) in the 1890s, the world heavyweight title has changed hands many, many times. Today, there are four different major world heavyweight championships, and each title belt over the years has been quite a thing of beauty! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • WBA (World Boxing Association)

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  • WBC (World Boxing Council)

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  • IBF (International Boxing Federation)

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WBO (World Boxing Organization)

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The Greatest

These fighters are generally included among the best in lists of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

  • Muhammad Ali
  • Joe Louis
  • George Foreman
  • Rocky Marciano
  • Joe Frazier
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Larry Holmes
  • Jack Johnson
  • Lennox Lewis
  • Evander Holyfield

Notable World Heavyweight Title Fights

  • The Fight of the Century

Who: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier

When: March 8, 1971

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

Winner: Frazier (Decision)

Why it’s notable: At the time, both men were undefeated. Frazier had won the world heavyweight title after it was stripped from Ali because of his refusal to participate in the United States military draft. This was a fight between two of the greatest fighters ever, both in their respective primes.

  • The Last Bare-Knuckle Fight

Who: John L. Sullivan vs. Jake Kilrain

When: July 8, 1889

Where: Richburg, Mississippi

Winner: John L. Sullivan

Why it’s notable: This was the last great bare-knuckle prize fight for a heavyweight title.

  • Cinderella Man

Who: Jim Braddock vs. Max Baer

When: July 13, 1935

Where: Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, Queens, NY

Winner: Jim Braddock

Why it’s notable: Max Baer was literally lethal in the ring. He was directly responsible for two boxing deaths. However, Jim Braddock was a nobody, who beat the deadly Baer against virtually all odds.

  • Louis vs. Schmeling

Who: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling

When: June 22, 1938

Where: Yankees Stadium, New York

Winner: Joe Louis

Why it’s notable: This was a rematch. Louis lost the first fight, and Max Schmeling was a German at the height of Nazi aggression. Louis knocked Schmeling out in the first round of what can be arguably called the most important sporting event of the 20th century.

  • Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas

Who: Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas

When: February 10, 1990

Where: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan

Winner: Douglas

Why it’s notable: Tyson was in his prime, coming into the fight as the undisputed world heavyweight champion. He was considered an unstoppable force in the ring. Some say the moment Tyson hit the mat is the moment boxing’s relevance began its decline.

We hope you enjoyed this as much as we enjoyed writing it. And remember, if you need your own championship belt made, or any other plaque or trophy, give us a call or a visit!

Famous Awards: The Oscar

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The name “Oscar” immediately conjures images of golden, shiny, faceless men whose hands are clasped tightly against their chests. In fact, the award itself is almost as mythic and fabled as the Hollywood legends whose trophy cases are lined with these gilded statues. We could go on describing how fabulous this award is, or we could get into a little about its history and relevance.

The Oscar awards have been commemorating the most exceptional and best of Hollywood’s best for years. Naturally, we should have a feature on them in our Famous Awards series. So, without further ado, here is a profile of Hollywood’s most prestigious award.

 

The History and Relevance

In an annual ceremony first held in 1929, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes Hollywood’s biggest, most significant accomplishments. Individual efforts and collective achievements alike are recognized at these star-studded galas, as awards are presented to everyone from the best cinematographer to the best picture.

The next Oscar ceremony will be the 88th installment. To date, a total of 2,947 Oscars have been given out. That might sound like a lot, but think about how many movies are made each year. Though the origins of its name are disputed to this day, the Oscars are doubtlessly an American pop culture mainstay.

Notable Winners

  • Hattie McDaniel – First African American to win an Oscar (For Best Supporting Actress, 1939: Gone with the Wind)
  • Sidney Poitier – First African American to win Best Actor (1963: Lilies of the Field)
  • George Burns – First comedian to win Best Supporting Actor (1975: Sunshine Boys)
  • Oscar Hammerstein II – First person named Oscar to win an Oscar (1941: Lady Be Good)
  • Elizabeth Taylor – First actress with a mole on her right cheek to win Best Actress (1960: Butterfield Eight)

Notable Losers

These actors have never won an Oscar, despite each having several great performances in their respective portfolios.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Julianne Moore
  • Michael Keaton
  • Tom Cruise
  • Glenn Close

Oscar Records

  • Most nominations in a single year – All About Eve (1950) & Titanic (1997­): 14
  • Most wins for Best Director – John Ford: 4
  • Most acting awards – Katharine Hepburn: 4, all for Best Actress
  • Largest sweep – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), won all 11 awards for which it was nominated.

We hope you enjoyed this profile of the Oscars. Remember, if you need any trophies or plaques made for any occasion, get in touch with us today!