The Commissioner's Trophy is presented each year by the Commissioner of Baseball to the Major League Baseball team that wins the World Series. Recent trophy designs contain flags representing each team in North America's top two leagues, the National League and the American League. The two participating teams in that year's World Series were previously represented by two press pins set on the base of the trophy. It is the only championship trophy of the four major sports in North America that is not named after a particular person (contrasting with the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup, the National Football League's Vince Lombardi Trophy, and the National Basketball Association's Larry O'Brien Trophy).
The trophy was not without precedent in Major League baseball: the Dauvray Cup (named after actress Helen Dauvray) was awarded to the winner of the World Series between the National League and the American Association from 1887 to 1890, and from 1891 to 1893, when a solitary major league remained, to the winner of the National League pennant. The Dauvray Cup was to be held by the victorious team, and was to be relinquished the following year when (and if) a new champion team emerged. The Dauvray Cup mysteriously vanished following the 1893 series and has never been located. From 1894 to 1897, the Temple Cup was awarded to the winner of a postseason contest between the two top National League clubs.
A new Commissioner's Trophy is created each year, much like the Lombardi Trophy and the O'Brien Trophy. In contrast, hockey's Stanley Cup is passed from champion to champion. Before 1997, the trophy was presented in the winners locker room. Since then the presentation occurs on the field if the champion clinches the title in their home stadium. Since its inception, the only year that the Commissioner's Trophy has not been awarded was 1994, when the players' strike ended the season on August 11, resulting in the cancellation of the entire post-season. The New York Yankees have won the most Commissioner's Trophies, winning seven World Series since 1967. The St. Louis Cardinals have won four trophies, a National League record.
The trophy is 24 inches (61 cm) tall, excluding the base, and has a diameter of 11 inches (28 cm). It weighs approximately 30 pounds (14 kg) and is composed of sterling silver. The trophy features 30 gold-plated flags, one for each Major League team. The flags rise above a silver baseball which is covered with latitude and longitude lines, symbolizing the world., and which features 24-karat vermeil stitching. The base contains an inscription copy of the signature of the commissioner and the words "Presented by the Commissioner of Baseball".
The original 1967 trophy was designed by Balfour Jewelers of Attleboro, Massachusetts, and cost $2,500. The trophy was redesigned by Tiffany & Co. in 1999 and first presented at the conclusion of the 2000 World Series, won by the New York Yankees against their crosstown rivals New York Mets.
The trophy from the 1983 World Series; this side-angle view shows the inscriptions on the team flags.
|New York Yankees||7||1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009|
|Oakland Athletics||4||1972, 1973, 1974, 1989|
|St. Louis Cardinals||4||1967, 1982, 2006, 2011|
|Boston Red Sox||3||2004, 2007, 2013|
|Cincinnati Reds||3||1975, 1976, 1990|
|San Francisco Giants||3||2010, 2012, 2014|
|Baltimore Orioles||2||1970, 1983|
|Detroit Tigers||2||1968, 1984|
|Kansas City Royals||2||1985, 2015|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2||1981, 1988|
|Miami Marlins||2||1997, 2003|
|Minnesota Twins||2||1987, 1991|
|New York Mets||2||1969, 1986|
|Philadelphia Phillies||2||1980, 2008|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||2||1971, 1979|
|Toronto Blue Jays||2||1992, 1993|
|Chicago White Sox||1||2005|
|Los Angeles Angels||1||2002|