Ranking The 5 Best Trophies in Professional Sports

Here at Spike’s Trophies, we celebrate all types of awards, and we’re proud to produce eye-catching trophies and custom engraved plaques that our customers, from regular weekend warriors to multi-million-dollar sports franchises, find fit for display in their homes, stadiums, and Halls of Fame across the country.

We’re also huge sports fans – as you know, if you’ve seen our epic “City of Champions” mural capturing Philadelphia’s rich history as one of the most intense, passionate sports cities on the planet.

The next big event on the sports calendar is the Kentucky Derby at the legendary Churchill Downs, and whenever the sports world gears up for any kind of championship, we love to admire the – you guessed it – the trophy.

So, we got to thinking. Of all the regal hardware presented each year to the best in professional sports, which are the best-looking trophies? How do they rank?

Just for fun, here’s our (very subjective) Top 5.

5. Kentucky Derby Trophy:  We all know about the iconic rose garland that gets draped over the winning horse; it’s why this race is fondly called the “Run for the Roses.”  But did you know that the winners of the Kentucky Derby actually get four trophies? A larger gold cup, with a horse perched above and a horseshoe adorning the side, goes to the owner of the horse. The trainer, jockey, and breeder receive matching silver trophies that are half the size of the gold trophy.

4.  Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy: With a striking design featuring a gold basketball that’s slightly off-center, hovering over a gold hoop – is the shot going to go in? – the NBA championship trophy is a real beaut. It’s named for former NBA commissioner Larry O’Brien, whose tenure lasted from 1975 to 1984. Unfortunately, the city of Philadelphia hasn’t claimed Mr. O’Brien’s trophy since 1983.

3. The Gold Glove: With apologies to the Commissioner’s Trophy, which goes to the World Series champion every year, we appreciate the simplicity of the Gold Glove Award. The eye goes straight to that detailed Rawlings glove, a symbol of America’s pastime that all of us have owned at one point in our lives, and triggers instant nostalgia. Gold Gloves are given to the game’s best fielders, and you know what they say: defense wins championships!

2. The Lombardi Trophy: Just ask Philadelphia Eagles fans how pretty this sleek, classy trophy is. The best it’s ever looked, of course, is when Nick Foles was clutching it proudly over his head in the joyous aftermath of Super Bowl LII.

1. The Stanley Cup: This isn’t just a trophy; it’s a legend! You just can’t beat the tradition of the multi-tiered, giant silver cup engraved with the names of NHL champions throughout history and toted around the world by a special handler whose only job is to guard the Cup. Hockey might be considered one of the less-popular sports in America, but it will always be No. 1 in a trophy lover’s heart.

As we said earlier, all trophies are glorious, but these five are our absolute favorites, and we want to see Philadelphia franchises hoisting them as much as possible!

We’d love to go wild and rank ALL the trophies in sports, including the Heisman Trophy (best player at the highest level of college football), the Walter Payton Award (best player in the Football Championship Series, formerly known as I-AA), the Naismith Award (best players in college basketball)…but as you can tell, we’d just go on and on forever.

We hope you enjoyed this celebration of trophies, and now that you’re in the mood, browse through our website for the widest selection of stunning awards on the internet. Contact us for plaque engraving or to customize a trophy, plaque, medals – anything – and be sure to keep checking our blog for more fun sports and trophy talk.