Author Archives: admin

Employee Recognition – Upside to Economic Downturn?

As per the Recognition Professionals International Association “There is an upside to this economic downturn for organizations that implement …

employee recognition systems. In order to drive through these tough times and emerge competitively stronger, organizations must concentrate their efforts on solid employee recognition initiatives. Sound, cost-effective recognition systems keep employees focused on your company’s mission, ease workforce stress and increase customer satisfaction.”

General – Promotional Swag More Effective Than Ads

In the context of the current challenging times in business, I came across an article in Brandweek Magazine written by Elaine Wong that I thought I would share.

“As marketers continue their debate over the next great advertising medium, a new study released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute found it’s not TV, print or radio that gets consumers’ attention, but good old promotional swag.


This includes….

… coffee mugs, pencils, retractable solar-powered flashlights or any other product bearing a company logo. Promotional products made up a $19.6 billion industry in 2007, per the ASI. Through surveys conducted both online and in-person in major cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, the institute also found that promotional products generate a cost-per-impression average of $0.004, compared to $.033 for national magazine ads or $0.019 for prime time TV ads.

The surveys asked 600 participants (who were mostly businesspeople over the age of 21) to recall promotional swag received over the last 12 months. Key findings include:

• 84% of consumers remembered an advertiser based on a product they received.
• 42% had a more favorable impression of an advertiser after receiving a promotional product.
• Nearly one quarter (24%) indicated they are more likely to do business with an advertiser based on items they receive.
• The majority of respondents (62%) have done business with an advertiser after receiving a product.
• Writing instruments are the most commonly owned tchotchkes, with 54 percent of respondents owning them, followed by shirts, caps and bags.
• Most (81%) promotional products were kept because they were considered useful.
• More than three-quarters of respondents have kept their items for about seven months.
• Among wearables, bags were reported to be used most frequently, with respondents indicating that they use their bags on average nine times per month.
• Bags deliver the most impressions, with 1,038 impressions per month on average.

ASI president and CEO Timothy Andrews said the findings indicate that promotional products yield a higher ROI, along with very low cost-per-impression, compared to other advertising media. Moreover, items received this year still generated a high recall rate among recipients, leading to greater purchase intent.

“During a time when we’re facing turbulent economic conditions, this research advises marketers and business owners to invest in advertising specialties (promotional products) now more than ever,” Andrews said. “Advertising specialties provide measurable results for a very reasonable investment.””

Famous Awards – The Commissioner’s Trophy

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? …


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.


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.

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.

Famous Awards – The Purple Heart

The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after 5 April 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in Newburgh, New York. The Purple Heart is the oldest symbol and award that is still given to U.S. soldiers in service, surpassed in history only by the long obsolete Fidelity Medallion.


The Medal
A Purple Heart is a heart-shaped medal within a gold border, 1 3⁄8 inches (35 mm) wide, containing a profile of General George Washington…

… Above the heart appears a shield of the Washington coat of arms (a white shield with two red bars and three red stars in chief) between sprays of green leaves. The reverse consists of a raised bronze heart with the words FOR MILITARY MERIT below the coat of arms and leaves. The ribbon is 1 and 3⁄8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) white 67101; 1 1⁄8 inches (29 mm) purple 67115; and 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) white 67101. As with other combat medals, multiple awards are denoted by award stars for the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or oak leaf clusters for the Army and Air Force.

Intrinsically, the Purple Heart is the world’s costliest military decoration – nineteen separate operations are required to make it from the rough heart stamped from bronze to the finished medal, plated with gold and enameled in various colors, suspended from a purple and white ribbon.

The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington—then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army—by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on 7 August 1782.

General Washington is often pictured as a cold, stern soldier, a proud aristocrat, a martinet. Perhaps he was all of these at times. Yet we know he showed sympathy and concern for his troops, and was not too proud to pray, humbly on his knees, for his beloved country and for the men who served it, and him, so bravely and loyalty. His keen appreciation of the importance of the common soldier in any campaign impelled him to recognize outstanding valor and merit by granting a commission or an advance in rank for the person concerned. In the summer of 1782 he was ordered by the Continental Congress to cease doing so – there were no funds to pay the soldiers, much less the officers!

Deprived of his usual means of reward, he must have searched for a substitute. Shortly after receiving the “stop” order from Congress, he wrote his memorable General Orders of August 7, 1782, which read in part, the phrase: “Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen.”

The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers and fell into disuse following the War of Independence. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again officially until after World War I.
On 10 October 1927, Army Chief of Staff General Charles Pelot Summerall directed that a draft bill be sent to Congress “to revive the Badge of Military Merit”. The bill was withdrawn and action on the case ceased on 3 January 1928, but the office of the Adjutant General was instructed to file all materials collected for possible future use.

A number of private interests sought to have the medal reinstituted in the Army. One of these was the board of directors of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum in Ticonderoga, New York.

On 7 January 1931, Summerall’s successor, General Douglas MacArthur, confidentially reopened work on a new design, involving the Washington Commission of Fine Arts. This new design was issued on the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth.

Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. Using general specifications provided to her, Will created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart. Her obituary, in the 8 February 1975 edition of the Washington Post newspaper, reflects her many contributions to military heraldry.

The Commission of Fine Arts solicited plaster models from three leading sculptors for the medal, selecting that of John R. Sinnock of the Philadelphia Mint in May 1931. By Executive Order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington’s birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements, by War Department General Orders No. 3, dated 22 February 1932.

The criteria was announced in War Department circular dated 22 February 1932 and authorized award to soldiers, upon their request, who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons subsequent to 5 April 1917, the day before the United States entered World War I. The first Purple Heart was awarded to MacArthur.

During the early period of American involvement in World War II (7 December 1941-22 September 1943), the Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty. With the establishment of the Legion of Merit, by an Act of Congress, the practice of awarding the Purple Heart for meritorious service was discontinued.

By Executive Order 9277, dated 3 December 1942, the decoration was extended to be applicable to all services and the order required that regulations of the Services be uniform in application as far as practicable. This executive order also authorized award only for wounds received.

Executive Order 11016, dated 25 April 1962, included provisions for posthumous award of the Purple Heart.

Executive Order 12464, dated 23 February 1984, authorized award of the Purple Heart as a result of terrorist attacks or while serving as part of a peacekeeping force subsequent to 28 March 1973.

The Senate approved an amendment to the 1985 Defense Authorization Bill on 13 June 1985 which changed the precedent from immediately above the Good Conduct Medal to immediately above the Meritorious Service Medals. Public Law 99-145 authorized the award for wounds received as a result of friendly fire. Public Law 104-106 expanded the eligibility date, authorizing award of the Purple Heart to a former prisoner of war who was wounded before 25 April 1962.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-85) changed the criteria to delete authorization for award of the Purple Heart Medal to any civilian national of the United States while serving under competent authority in any capacity with the Armed Forces. This change was effective 18 May 1998.

“Military Order of the Purple Heart,”
An organization now known as the “Military Order of the Purple Heart,” was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only strictly “combat” organization in existence.

Funds for welfare, rehabilitation and/or service work carried on by the organization are derived almost entirely from the annual distribution of its official flower, The Purple Heart Viola. These are assembled by disabled and needy veterans, many of whom receive little or no compensation from other sources. Thus your contribution for a Viola serves a two-fold purpose – it helps the veteran who assembled it, and enables the organization to do many things in behalf of hospitalized and needy veterans and their families.

The Purple Heart Viola on your lapel is evidence that YOU have not forgotten the price of liberty paid in the past and still being paid by those who have borne the brunt of battle in defense of America.

Close relatives of Purple Heart recipients are eligible to belong to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which does important work nationally and locally in Veterans’ Hospitals. Further information about the Order and its auxiliary may be obtained from the National Headquarters as listed below.

Thank You to Wikipedia and The Military Order of the Purple Heart for providing the content of this page. For more detailed information please visit

Famous Awards – The Championship Belt

“Philly” (Philadelphia, Pa. USA) has a deep tradition in boxing. Being born and raised in Philly, we seem to have either adopted or been given the “Rocky” legacy. When visitors from all over the globe visit Philadelphia, their first point of interest to visit is to “run the Rocky steps”. Amazing! With all the American history and culture that exists in the city – a fictional character that was born in a 1976 (bicentennial year) movie – Rocky wins out? Why does this uplifting “one in a million” underdog who fights for and eventually wins a fictitious World Boxing Championship Belt strike such an emotional chord? I use the Rocky backdrop as an introductio to the story of this famous award, the Championship Belt.


Frazier-Ali World Heavyweight Championship Belt

Today a Championship Belt is used primarily…

… in combat sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling to signify the champions of the promotion or company, much like the Vince Lombardi Trophy or The Stanley Cup. This was not always the case. The history of this famous award started with boxing, much like the “Rocky” raw fisted struggle of human achievement and triumph.

History of the Belt
When was the tradition of awarding “Title Belts” started? Thomas “Tom” Cribb (the “Black Diamond”) was one of England’s most celebrated boxing champions in the early 1800’s. He made “milling on the retreat” acceptable as a mode of fighting. Upon his retirement in 1822, he was awarded a lion-skin championship belt, the first unofficial “title belt”. After retirement, Cribb maintained “The Union Arms” on Panton Street in Picadilly, London for many years, until he lost it in 1839. Cribb was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

Prize belt presented to John L. Sullivan, bare-knuckle boxing champion, in 1887


When the modern authorities talk of the heavyweight championship of the world, they are probably referring to the championship belt presented to Sullivan in Boston on August 8, 1887. The belt was inscribed Presented to the Champion of Champions, John L. Sullivan, by the Citizens of the United States. Its centerpiece featured the flags of the US, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The “Boston Bully,” Sullivan was the most famous sports figure of his day. To honor their hometown hero, Boston fans raised $10,000 for this elaborate trophy. Encrusted with 350 diamonds (now lost) and decorated with Sullivan’s portrait and crossed Irish and American flags, the gold-plated belt has this inscription: “Presented to the champion of champions by the people of the United States.” In 1983 the Smithsonian acquired Sullivan’s belt for its sports history collection. It is impossible to say who the “first” heavyweight champion was, since the sport of boxing goes back as far as recorded history and there have always been large fighters. Even in the bare-knuckle era, “champions” were plentiful.

A competing “officially recognized” Championship belt in boxing had its origins in London back in 1909 with the “Lonsdale Belt”. The belt is named after Lord Lonsdale who was patron of the National Sporting Club. The Earl of Lonsdale was a keen boxing fan who supported boxing for many years. The Lonsdale Belt was a boxing prize given by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale. It was originally presented to the champion in each British weight division and the holder could keep the belt if it was won and then defended two times. The belt was first won by Freddie Welsh in 1909 for winning the British lightweight title. Heavyweight Henry Cooper was the first person to win three Lonsdale Belts outright in his seventeen year professional career.


The belt is still won today and awarded by the British Boxing Board of Control although to keep it you must win and defend it three times. The belt is crafted from gold and porcelain and is therefore very expensive to produce.

The current Championship Belts awarded for boxing has its roots from The Ring (Ring Magazine -founded 1922) who began awarding championship belts in 1922. The first Ring belt was awarded to heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, the second to flyweight champion Pancho Villa. The magazine stopped giving belts to world champions in the 1990s, but began again in 2002 when it launched its new championship policy intended to reward fighters who, by satisfying rigid criteria, can justify a claim as the true and only world champion in a given weight class. No other regularly-awarded belt (awarded to a champion upon becoming champion) prior to this one.

Champion Belt presenting organizations
In boxing, the individual organizations such as the World Boxing Council, The World Boxing Association, the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organization each have their own unique championship belt that they award to the champions of each weight class. Boxers, especially the World Champions, strive to win the belt of all 4 organizations to unify their weight divisions.

Champions maintain permanent possession of these belts even upon losing their title, with a new belt made when a new champion is crowned.

Unlike Professional Boxing, Professional Wrestling has numerous World Champions and even more regionalized and specialized Championship Belts. The generally recognized World Championship Belts are those of World Wrestling Entertainment and The National Wrestling Alliance. The National Wrestling Alliance recognizes numerous regional Championship Belts such as The NWA North American Championship and The NWA British Commonwealth Championship. World Wrestling Entertainment currently has 3 Main Champions. The WWE Championship is the main championship belt of its RAW brand, the World Heavyweight Championship is the main championship belt of the SmackDown! brand,and the ECW Championship is the main championship of the ECW brand. The RAW and Smackdown! brands also have their own separate tag team Championship Belts and various lesser belts, but the ECW brand has one title.

Generally, boxing has many fewer uniquely designed belts than wrestling. The 4 major boxing governing bodies generally use the same belt design for all their champions, whereas wrestling companies use different styles for each Championship. The WWE has had 11 different belts to represent their World Title, The National Wrestling Alliance has stayed with the same design for over 30 years, sans the period between 1986-1993 when the “Big Gold” belt was the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title Belt. Beltmakers often create belts that not only set the Championships apart from the others, but become huge collector items as well.

These custom belts are generally made of Leather over-sized belts, with cast metal ornate belt buckles and or medallions. These belts are accented by numerous costume and real jewelry components to add to the presentation. The variations over the years are countless, with each being uniquely designed and manufactured.

Special thanks to for contributing information.

Famous Awards – Fun Facts

In doing research for this blog of Famous Awards I have come across a number of fun, somewhat obscure, facts concerning these famous awards. I would like to share a few with you. Following are just a few. I’ll post more in the coming months as I come across them in my research. Did you know

… in ancient Greece, the first “Trophies” consisted of captured arms and standards hung upon a tree or stake in the semblance of a man and was inscribed with details of the battle along with a dedication to a god or gods.  After a naval victory, the “trophy”, composed of whole ships or their beaks, were laid out on the nearest beach.  To destroy a trophy was regarded as a sacrilege , it must be left to decay naturally.)…since, it was considered an object dedicated to a god (for more see posting on History of the word Trophy in Recognition: Info & Fun Facts

…. that 10 entertainers have scored the showbiz “grand slam” of winning famous awards by winning the Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy?  Can you name the 10 entertainers who achieved such a distinction?  They are Mel Brooks, John Gielgud, Whoopi Goldberg, Marvin Hamlisch, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, Mike Nichols, Richard Rogers, and musical orchestrator Jonathan Tunick. (for more see posting on the Oscar, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy in Famous Awards)

… which of the four National Medal of Honors were the first to be created by the armed forces?  Was it the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard?  The Navy medal was the first to be struck, followed quickly by the Army version of this award. There are three different types of Medals of Honor today.  The original simple star shape established in 1861 which the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have retained; a wreath version designed in 1904 for the Army; and an altered wreath version for the Air Force, designed in 1963 and adopted in 1965. (for more see posting on The Medal of Honor in Famous Awards – The Medal of Honor)

… what the oldest sporting trophy is that was first contested in 1851 was?  The America’s Cup, a Silver ewer (pitcher), presented for Yacht Racing. (for more see posting on The America’s Cup in Famous Awards – The America’s Cup)

… that The Claret Jug, or to use its proper name, The Golf Champion Trophy, presented to each year’s winner of The Open Championship was not the original prize for this championship?  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. (for more see posting on The Claret Jug in Famous Awards – The Claret Jug)

… that the most Super Bowl rings won to date is Seven, won by Neal Dahlen. Mr. Dahlen won five with the 49ers (Staff and Player Personnel) and two with the Denver Broncos (General Manager). The second most is Six, won by Conditioning coach Mike Woicik. Mike won three with the Dallas Cowboys and three with the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick currently has five and with the next win allowing him to join this elite group.

Famous Awards – The Grammy Award

Tonight the 50th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the record industry. The Grammy Awards were initially called the Gramophone Awards, which became shortened to its current name “Grammy” over time.


And why is a Grammy called a ”grammy”? Because the trophy is …

… a gilded likeness of a very old-fashioned record player called a gramophone (see history of “real” gramophone below).

The Recording Academy honors excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions. In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents other notable honors. These awards recognize contributions and activities of significance to the recording field that fall outside the framework of the GRAMMY Awards categories, and include the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Trustees Award, the Technical GRAMMY Award, the GRAMMY Legend Award and GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Award. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the more prominent Grammy Awards are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony every February. The Grammys are considered the highest music honor, the U.S. record industry’s equivalent to the Academy Awards / Oscars. Prior to the first live Grammys telecast in 1971, a series of taped annual specials in the 1960s called The Best on Record were broadcast.

The GRAMMY Award Trophy
The actual Grammy trophy is manufactured exclusively in Ridgeway, CO. The trophies are all hand made and assembled. In 1990, the old smaller gramophone, which had existed since 1958, had to be revamped because the metals were too soft and there were many problems with the trophy breaking. The tone arm on the original Grammy award had a long tradition of breaking, either in the shipping or even by holding it the wrong way. So the new design required the tone arm to be “beefed up”, while keeping it streamline. The current trophy was made bigger and grander. The academy requested that the new Grammy be about 30 percent larger than the original award.

The Gramophone cabinet (below tone arm) was redesigned entirely out of sheet brass cut out on a band saw. A master mold maker made the molds, which are sand cast from bronze, for the first updated Grammy. The mold for the cabinet is a six-piece mold and the tone arm is a five-piece mold. Molds for casting are made, so the awards can be reproduced in quantity. The Grammy is made of 4 major components: The Base; The Cabinet; The Tone Arm; And The Bell. The Bell is manufactured separately in a Metal Spinning plant in California. The Grammy is assembled in pieces and finally finished off in gold plating. The initial molds used in 1990 are being used today and if treated right they should last another 20 years.

The GRAMMY is cast in a metal allow. Originally the Grammy’s were cast in lead. Lead was used in the 1950’s in all trophies because it was easy to cast and because it was easy to polish and finish. The problem with lead is that it is soft and breaks easily. An alloy of zinc and aluminum was decided upon, producing a custom alloy that the manufacturer calls “Gramium”. After being filed, ground and polished they are electroplated first in copper, then nickel plated, and finally they are plated in 24K gold. The old Grammy award sat on a walnut base. The updated new Grammy is placed upon a black lacquer solid wood base.

Like most of the famous awards in my blog, every one who sees one, wants to hold it! While gold will not tarnish it can become dull after being handled a lot. The gold can actually be rubbed of if it is rubbed too much. So, the manufacturer does not recommend frequent cleaning. The best method of cleaning a Grammy, as recommended by the manufacturer, is to use mild dish soap with a soft cotton cloth which will clean off finger prints. Rinse in clear warm water, then wipe it dry and you will bring your Grammy back the luster of brand new. Oh, and before I forget – ALWAYS hold your GRAMMY by the tone arm and BE CAREFUL not to get the felt bottom wet, it could get ugly !

The trophies used for the broadcast are called “stunt” Grammys. The actual awards are kept at the manufacturers until after the winners are announced. At that time the manufacturer engraves the awards with the winner’s names and personally, drives them across country to personally deliver them to the academy.

Grammy Award Winner Trivia:
Who has won the Most Grammys in a lifetime? The record for the most Grammy Awards in a lifetime is held by Sir Georg Solti, a Hungarian-British conductor who conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for twenty-two years. He personally won 31 Grammys[2] and is listed for 38 Grammys (6 went to the engineer and 1 to a soloist); he was nominated an additional 74 times before his death in 1997.

What band has received the Most Grammy Awards won by a band? As of 2006, U2 has won more Grammy Awards than any other band with a total of 22 awards.

What solo artist has won the Most Grammy Awards as a male solo artist? Stevie Wonder has won more Grammy Awards than any other artist in popular music with a total of 28[5] This does not include a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he has also received. Wonder is the only artist to have won Album of the Year awards for three consecutive albums.

What solo female artist has won the Most Grammy Awards as a female solo artist? Alison Krauss, as a solo artist, collaborator, producer and with Union Station has won 20 Grammy Awards, the most ever by a female singer.


Edison cylinder phonograph ca. 1899

The History of the “real” Gramophone:
A device utilizing a vibrating pen to graphically represent sound on discs of paper, without the idea of playing it back in any manner, was described by Charles Cros of France in 1877, but never built. In 1877, Thomas Edison independently built the first working phonograph, a tinfoil cylinder machine, intending to use it as a voice recording medium, typically for office dictation. The phonograph cylinder dominated the recorded sound market beginning in the 1880s. Lateral-cut disc records were invented by Emile Berliner in 1888 and were used exclusively in toys until 1894, when Berliner began marketing disc records under the Berliner Gramophone label. The Edison “Blue Amberol” cylinder was introduced in 1912, with a longer playing time of around 4 minutes (at 160 rpm) and a more resilient playing surface than its wax predecessor, but the format was doomed due to the difficulty of reproducing recordings. By November 1918 the patents for the manufacture of lateral-cut disc records expired, opening the field for countless companies to produce them, causing disc records to overtake cylinders in popularity. Disc records would dominate the market until they were supplanted by the Compact Disc, starting from the 1980s. Production of Amberol cylinders ceased in the late 1920s.

A gramophone record (also phonograph record, or simply record) is an analogue sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed modulated spiral groove starting near the periphery and ending near the center of the disc. Gramophone records were the primary medium used for commercial music reproduction for most of the 20th century. They replaced the phonograph cylinder as the most popular recording medium in the 1900s, and although they were supplanted in popularity in the late 1980s by digital media, they continue to be manufactured and sold as of 2008. Gramophone records remain the medium of choice for some audiophiles, and specialist areas such as electronica.

Special thanks for contributing information from the following:

Famous Awards – Golden Globes

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the presenters of the 65th annual Golden Globe awards will announce this year’s winners at a news conference this evening at the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton – instead of on television. The TV telecast of the very public awards ceremony — which lets TV viewers share in the anything-goes celebration of Hollywood’s elite — is gone this year, canceled because of the Screenwriters Guild strike. The strike, since November 5th, against film and TV producers, has the Writers Guild of America refusing to let its members work on the show. Even though the international TV audience will not see awards being presented, the coveted awards will be manufactured and handed out to this year’s winners individually, without the public fanfare.

Manufacturing the Globes
The Golden Globe statue is produced using a combination of metals. The globe is made from one mold through a hot metal casting process. The globe is then plated with 24-karat gold. The 24-karat Golden Globe is …


…encircled with a strip of motion picture film. The award stands about 10 inches high, with the actual globe measuring 4 inches. The yellowish, fabricated faux-marble base takes up the largest portion of the overall award height, at 6 inches high. The monetary value of the trophy is a few hundred dollars, while the sentimental and promotional value can not be measured! Because the Golden Globe winners remain a secret, all the engraving takes place after the awards are announced. A couple of hundred Golden Globe statuettes are produced every three years-creating a three-year supply. Today, the Golden Globes recognize achievements in 25 categories; 14 in motion pictures and 11 in television.

The Golden Globe award has remained virtually unchanged since its debut in 1945. Only the base has been modified a number of years ago. The base was enlarged to its current size to give the statue more balance and height.

For the Greater Good
The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and TV programs, given out each year during a formal dinner. The ceremony has been run as a fundraiser since 1944 by the HFPA.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual Golden Globe Awards have enabled the non-profit organization to donate more than $7.7 million in the past thirteen years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals. In the year 2007 the donation was more than 1.2 million dollars, the largest tally ever distributed in the organization’s history. Due to this year’s strike and subsequent loss of TV revenues, the donation for 2008 will unfortunately be much less.

The History of the Award
The Golden Globes, one of the motion picture entertainment industry’s most prestigious awards were once handed out on a piece of paper. The first Golden Globe awards were not golden globes at all-they were scrolls, and they were presented in just five categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Motion Picture Actress, Best Motion Picture Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. In an informal ceremony held at the production company 20th Century Fox, the best movie award went to “The Song of Bernadette.” This was in 1944, a year after, a group of foreign correspondents decided to create a non-profit organization comprised solely of foreign press representatives. They called themselves the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association (HFCA).

In 1945 the members of the new group held a contest to find the best design for an award trophy that would symbolize the goals of the organization and that could be used to officially recognize the outstanding achievements of industry entertainers. The members chose a creation by Marina Cisternas, the association’s president from 1945 to 1946, which became the iconic Golden Globe design of today. The current and final design was and is a “Golden Globe” encircled with a Strip of Motion Picture Film.

The Globes could have been called the “Henrietta’s”?
Some philosophical disagreements among members of the HFCA resulted in a 1950 split into two different entities. The original group continued to present its Golden Globes, while the separate Foreign Press Association of Hollywood created its own award called the Henrietta, named for the group’s president, Henry Gris.

In 1951, the association doubled the number of film categories by dividing them into drama and comedy/musical. The following year added the Cecil B. DeMille Award to the list to recognize notable contributions to the entertainment field. DeMille himself, a prominent U.S. producer and director, was the award’s first recipient.

In 1955 the two groups were reunited as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), and the Golden Globe awards prevailed over the lesser-known Henrietta’s. It wasn’t until 1961 that the television award recipients also included specific actors and actresses.

The HFPA set the Globes apart from the Academy Awards, which first presented its awards in 1927, in two ways: First, the HFPA distinguishes between drama and comedy/musical; and second, it bestows awards for television as well as film. Traditionally a number of the Best Motion Picture Golden Globe winners have gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actresses. Thus, the Globes have evolved into somewhat of an indicator for the Oscar winners. In the late 1980s, the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony began being televised, thus adding to its popularity and clout.

The Golden Globe’s similar British equivalent, considered equal in prestige, is the BAFTA.

The Broadcast Presentation
As representatives of the world press, the group’s members felt it was incumbent upon them to give their audience their judgments as to Hollywood’s finest productions. The organization’s first awards presentation for distinguished achievements in the film industry took place in early 1944 with an informal ceremony at 20th Century Fox. There, Jennifer Jones was awarded Best Actress honors for “The Song of Bernadette,” which also won for Best Film, while Paul Lukas took home Best Actor laurels for “Watch on the Rhine.” Awards were presented in the form of scrolls.

The group’s first special event was a luncheon in December 1947, at which a meritorious plaque was awarded to Henry M. Warner, president of Warner Bros., in recognition of his humanitarian work as the principal sponsor of the “Friendship Train,” which left Hollywood with food, clothing and medical supplies for the needy of Europe.

In conjunction with the Golden Globes presentation, the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association held its first gala social event in 1945 with a formal banquet at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “Going My Way” won for Best Picture, while Ingrid Bergman and Alexander Knox were named Best Actress and Best Actor for their performances in “The Bells of St. Mary” and “President Wilson,” respectively.

The awards at the ceremony had typically been presented by journalists who were part of the association. However at the 1958 Golden Globes which was the first year of local telecast, in an impromptu action, “The Rat Pack” (aka Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) took to the stage, allegedly taking over the presenting with whiskey and cigarettes in hand. The action was met with great delight of the audience. The next year the association asked them to present the awards. The celebrity presentation tradition exists to this day.

The broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards generally ranks as the third most-watched awards show each year, behind only the Oscars and the Grammy’s. The Golden Globes has grown to one of the highest honors for actors and actresses.

Voting for the Globes
The Golden Globes are awarded early in the year, based on votes from 86 mostly part-time journalists living in Hollywood and affiliated with media outside of the United States. The journalists cover approximately 200 print, radio and television outlets in more than 50 countries.

Some critics of the association argue that some members possess questionable credentials and that technically their work could be anything from a long, analytical article to a short blurb written from the transcript of a celebrity interview. Other people have accused association members of receiving substantial gifts and incentives in exchange for voting for the gift-giver’s choice for winner. Perhaps the most extreme example took place when the 1982 Golden Globe for Newcomer of the Year went to Pia Zadora. This came after members of the HFPA were treated to food and drinks at a Las Vegas show starring Zadora and paid for by her husband.

Each year HFPA members interview more than 250 actors, directors, writers and producers, as well as reporting from film sets and seeing more than 300 films. Members also attend film festivals in other countries in order to seek out interesting and innovative foreign language films and establish cultural bonds with directors, actors, jurors and fellow journalists around the world.
Membership meetings are held monthly and the officers and directors are elected annually. A maximum of five journalists are admitted to the organization each year. All members are accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Despite any faultfinders, the Golden Globe Awards have staked out a significant place for themselves in the hearts and minds of millions of fans and industry insiders across the globe.

Unlike the Academy Awards, for which the eligibility period begins January 1, the eligibility period for the Golden Globe Awards begins October 1.

For more information please visit

Famous Awards – The Heisman

The Heisman Trophy will be presented this evening at the Grand Ballroom in the Hilton New York. “The Heisman”, as it is known, is named after former college football player, coach and innovator John Heisman, and is awarded annually to the most outstanding collegiate football player in the U.S.

Heisman Trophy Finalists Football
The trophy is a 13-1/2 inches high, 14 inches long detailed bronze statue, weighing a hefty 25 pounds, …

…depicting a sidestepping, and straight arming football player making his way downfield to a mythical touchdown!

History of the Heisman
The idea of an award to honor and recognize the most outstanding college football player was originally conceived by members of the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City. Renowned for its devotion to sports, members of the Downtown Athletic Club, appointed a Club Trophy Committee, led by John W. Heisman who was the first Athletic Director of the Downtown Athletic Club, and charged them with conducting the first award presentation at the conclusion of the 1935 football season.

The Design of the Heisman Trophy
The trophy committee of the DAC after considering a traditional cup or bowl, selected a well-known sculptor and National Academy Prize Winner, Frank Eliscu, to design a replica in bronze of a muscular football player driving for yardage. Mr. Eliscu selected Ed Smith, a leading player on the 1934 New York University football team, as his model for the award. A rough clay model was formed by Eliscu of Smith. It was approved by the DAC Committee and sent uptown to Jim Crowley (one of the legendary Four Horseman of Notre Dame), then Head Football Coach at Fordham, for his inspection. He showed the replica to his players who took various positions on the field to illustrate and verify the side step, the forward drive and the strong arm thrust of the right arm. Sculptor Eliscu closely observed these action sequences and modified his clay prototype to correspond. The result was a truly lifelike simulation of player action. It was then converted into a plaster cast, a step preliminary to ultimate production in bronze.

The final inspection of the cast was made after a dinner at the McAlpin Hotel on November 16, 1935, attended by Coach Elmer Layden and the entire Notre Dame football team (they had just played a memorable 6-6 tie with Army before 78,114 fans). The members of the Fighting Irish squad were impressed by Eliscu’s model. The 1935 Notre Dame team put its seal of approval on this new trophy. It was now ready for its final stage, bronze casting. The trophy was a classic sculpture, an artistic as well as athletic triumph.

The first award of the “DAC Trophy” was made on December 9, 1935 to Jay Berwanger, a triple threat cyclone in Chicago’s backfield. It was not named the Heisman till the following year. Jay Berwanger, was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles but declined to sign for them. He never played professional football for any team.

The naming of the DAC Trophy as the Heisman
Following John W. Heisman’s death in 1936, the DAC Trophy was renamed the Heisman Memorial Trophy as a tribute to the memory of the distinguished American athlete and inventive football genius. In 1968, the Heisman Trophy Committee voted to award two trophies each year – one to the winner and one to the college or university he represents.

The Heisman’s Namesake – John W. Heisman, An Innovator of the Game
As the tradition of the Heisman Memorial Trophy grows with each passing year, the life of the man memorialized by the award fades into the annals of history. No one more thoroughly studied the dynamics of football, nor witnessed more closely the game’s evolution, nor personally knew more immortals of the gridiron, nor effected more change in the game’s development, the awards namesake -John W. Heisman.


Born in Cleveland, Ohio, October 23, 1869, John William Heisman grew up on the oil fields of northwest Pennsylvania, in the town of Titusville. John Heisman’s first football games were a hodgepodge of soccer/rugby. In 1887, at age 17, he left Titusville for Brown University where he played a form of club football with his class mates. After two years, in the fall of 1889, he transferred to Penn to pursue his law degree. Though outsized at 5’8″ and 158lbs, he played varsity football for three years as guard, center, tackle, and, at times, end.

Debilitated after a flash of lightening nearly cost him his eyesight, Heisman took his final exams orally and graduated with his law degree in the spring of 1892. Immediately after college, he got his first coaching job at Oberlin College leading the team to win all of its seven games in only the second year of the football program. Heisman’s career as a coach was launched.

His career developed as Coach with stints at Auburn, Clemson, University of Pennsylvania, Washington and Jefferson and Rice. His coaching career ultimately spanned more than three decades (1892-1927). His most impressive coaching reign was with Georgia Tech (1904-1919) where his Golden Tornado was a scoring powerhouse with an astounding 33 straight wins.
Coach Heisman left Georgia Tech after the 1919 season to return as head coach at his alma mater U. of Penn. After three years he bought out his contract and spent one year at Washington & Jefferson, before moving west to Texas and Rice Institute. In 1927, at age 62, John W. Heisman retired from coaching the game he loved and developed.

In retirement in New York, John Heisman found more time to write as well as serve in advisory positions. His articles were published in magazines such as American Liberty and Colliers Magazine. He also served as football editor for the professional publication Sporting Goods Journal. This prodigious outpouring did not go unnoticed. On May 23, 1930, John W. Heisman was named the first Athletic Director of the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City. Serving in this capacity, Heisman organized and founded the Touchdown Club of New York, and later the National Football Coaches Association.

At the insistence of the DAC officers he organized and set into motion the structure and voting system to determine the best collegiate football player in the country. Though Heisman initially opposed pointing out an individual over a team, he ultimately felt it a consummate team accomplishment to have such recognition. In doing so the first Downtown Athletic Club Award was given in 1935 to Chicago’s Jay Berwanger. On October 3, 1936, before the second award could go out, John W. Heisman succumbed to pneumonia. The officers of the DAC unanimously voted to rename the DAC Award, the Heisman Memorial Trophy that year.

The Forward Pass – Heisman’s greatest accomplishment
In his coaching career, Heisman changed the face of the game that became America’s passion. What he considered his greatest contribution, the forward pass, became legalized in 1906, after three years of writing and pestering Walter Camp and the rules committee. Much of the official rule book in the day adopted Heisman’s suggestions word for word.

Men who respected and called him friend included: coaches Robert C Zuppke of Illinois, Fielding Yost of Michigan, Amos A Stagg of Chicago, Dr. J. W. Wilce of the Ohio State University, D.X. Bible of Texas A&M, legendary sports writer Grantland Rice, golf’s first Grand Slam winner Robert Jones Jr. and former team mate and Honorable Mayor of Philadelphia Harry A Mackey. As did his life touch many, the spirit of his character continues to inspire the best in those who would receive his Memorial.

The prestige in the award stems from a number of factors. Though balloting is open for all football players in all divisions of college football, the winners usually represent Division I FCS schools. The closest that a player outside of the modern Division I FCS came to winning the Heisman is third place. Steve McNair, from Division I FBS Alcorn State, finished third in the voting in 1994. Gordie Lockbaum, from Division I FBS Holy Cross, finished third in the voting in 1987. Archie Griffin of Ohio State is the only player to receive the award twice, winning it as a junior in 1974 and a senior in 1975. (Although Chicago is now a Division III school and Yale and Princeton are now Division I FBS, all three schools were considered major programs at the time their players won the award.) In addition to incredible personal statistics, team achievements play a heavy role in the voting—a typical Heisman winner represents a team that had an outstanding season and was most likely in contention for the national championship at some point in that season.

Balloting for the Heisman is selective. The fifty states of the U.S. are split into six regions, and six regional representatives are selected to appoint voters in their states (the regions include the Far West, the Mid Atlantic, Mid West, North East, South, and South West). Each region has 145 media votes, for a total of 870 votes. In addition, all previous Heisman winners may vote, and one final vote is counted through public balloting. The Heisman ballots contain a 3-2-1 point system, in which each ballot ranks the voter’s top three players and awards them three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote. The points are tabulated, and the player with the highest total of points across all ballots wins the Heisman Trophy.
Special thanks and acknowledgement for the material contained in this blog to the book, Call Me Coach; and

Famous Awards – Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award

Celebrating the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award’s 20th anniversary this past week, on November 20th in Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez announced that five organizations were the recipients of the 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for organizational performance excellence. For the first time in the history of the Baldrige Award, nonprofit organizations have been selected.


The Trophy
The Award crystal is composed of two solid Steuben Crystal prismatic forms, that stands 14 inches tall. The crystal is held in a base of black anodized aluminum, with the award recipient’s name engraved on the base. A 22-karat gold-plated medallion is captured in the front section of the crystal. The medal bears the inscription “Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award” and “The Quest For Excellence” surrounding the Baldrige “Ribbon with Star” Logo on one side and the “Presidential Seal” on the other side.

The award crystal cannot be reproduced in any form or size. Award recipients may reproduce the Baldrige Award trademark and Baldrige Award medallion for use on mementos. However, replicas and printed reproductions of the medallion cannot include the Presidential seal, which is on the reverse side of the medallion. Copies of the medallion may be produced with plain reverse side, a duplicate of the front side, or name or trademark of the award recipient along with the year the award was won.

Why was the award established?
In the early and mid-1980s, many industry and government leaders saw that a renewed emphasis on quality was no longer an option for American companies but a necessity for doing business in an ever expanding, and more demanding, competitive world market. But many American businesses either did not believe quality mattered for them or did not know where to begin. The Baldrige Award was envisioned as a standard of excellence that would help U.S. organizations achieve world-class quality.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Originally, three types of organizations were eligible: manufacturers, service companies and small businesses. This was expanded in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations (including charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies). The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 72 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.

The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector. As a nonregulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Public Law 100-107
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was created by Public Law 100-107, signed into law on August 20, 1987. The Award Program, responsive to the purposes of Public Law 100-107, led to the creation of a new public-private partnership. Principal support for the program comes from the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, established in 1988.

The Findings and Purposes Section of Public Law 100-107 states that:”
1. the leadership of the United States in product and process quality has been challenged strongly (and sometimes successfully) by foreign competition, and our Nation’s productivity growth has improved less than our competitors’ over the last two decades.
2. American business and industry are beginning to understand that poor quality costs companies as much as 20 percent of sales revenues nationally and that improved quality of goods and services goes hand in hand with improved productivity, lower costs, and increased profitability.
3. strategic planning for quality and quality improvement programs, through a commitment to excellence in manufacturing and services, are becoming more and more essential to the well-being of our Nation’s economy and our ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace.
4. improved management understanding of the factory floor, worker involvement in quality, and greater emphasis on statistical process control can lead to dramatic improvements in the cost and quality of manufactured products.
5. the concept of quality improvement is directly applicable to small companies as well as large, to service industries as well as manufacturing, and to the public sector as well as private enterprise.
6. in order to be successful, quality improvement programs must be management-led and customer-oriented, and this may require fundamental changes in the way companies and agencies do business.
7. several major industrial nations have successfully coupled rigorous private-sector quality audits with national awards giving special recognition to those enterprises the audits identify as the very best; and
8. a national quality award program of this kind in the United States would help improve quality and productivity by:
a. helping to stimulate American companies to improve quality and productivity for the pride of recognition while obtaining a competitive edge through increased profits;
b. recognizing the achievements of those companies that improve the quality of their goods and services and providing an example to others;
c. establishing guidelines and criteria that can be used by business, industrial, governmental, and other organizations in evaluating their own quality improvement efforts; and
d. providing specific guidance for other American organizations that wish to learn how to manage for high quality by making available detailed information on how winning organizations were able to change their cultures and achieve eminence.”

The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients—listed with their category—are:
• PRO-TEC Coating Co., Leipsic, Ohio (small business)
• Mercy Health System, Janesville, Wisc. (health care)
• Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, Calif. (health care)
• City of Coral Springs, Coral Springs, Fla. (nonprofit)
• U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. (nonprofit)
“I am pleased to join President Bush in congratulating the five outstanding organizations that have been named to receive this year’s Baldrige Award,” said Secretary Gutierrez. “The organizations we recognize today have given us superb examples of innovation, excellence and world-class performance. They serve as role models for organizations of all kinds striving to improve effectiveness and increase value to their customers.”
With these new recipients, the program celebrates its 20th anniversary. Along with recognizing the achievements of the award recipients, a key measure of the Baldrige National Quality Program’s impact has been the widespread use of its Criteria for Performance Excellence, the guide designed to help organizations of all types improve their operations. Since 1987, about 10 million copies of the Baldrige criteria have been distributed. Downloads currently number about 1 million annually. Additionally, more than 40 U.S. states and more than 45 countries worldwide have implemented programs based on the Baldrige criteria.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 84 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process for the 2007 Baldrige Award recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by teams of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.
The 2007 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., early next year.