Championship trophies symbolize the best group of athletes in their respected sports for that season. Here is a look at some of the most iconic trophies in sports today.
STANLEY CUP: "STOVEPIPE CUP"(Credit: AP)
The Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893 to the Montreal Hockey Club, the top amateur team in Canada. The Cup did not belong exclusively to the NHL until 1926. The original Cup had much smaller rings than the ones you see today. Due to its shape, it was known as the Stovepipe Cup.
MODERN-DAY STANLEY CUP(Credit: Paul Bereswill)
It was redesigned in 1958 to its current, broader shape. It stands about 35 inches high and weighs 35 pounds. Although the names of players, coaches, management and staff have been engraved on it, you can't actually see them all. That's because every 13 years, an old ring is removed from the top of the Cup to make room for a new one on the bottom. It has become tradition that each player of the winning team is allowed their day with Cup. It is then returned to the Hall of Fame for safe keeping.
ORIGINAL STANLEY CUP(Credit: AP )
There actually are three Stanley Cups: the original bowl (pictured here), the authenticated Cup given to the champion, and a replica. The replica stands in at the Hall of Fame when the authenticated Cup is on the road.
NFL: VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY(Credit: AP )
Following the passing of legendary coach Vince Lomardi, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle renamed the trophy in his honor in 1970. It was originally called the "World Championship Game Trophy." The sterling silver trophy is 22 inches high, weighs seven pounds and is worth $25,000. After the trophy is presented to the winning team, it is sent to Tiffany & Co. where they engrave the date and final score of the game, as well as the winning team's roster. A new trophy is created every year.
RYDER CUP(Credit: AFP/Getty Images / JIM WATSON)
The Ryder Cup began in 1921, but it wasn't until recently that the matches became such a big event, with fans and players alike screaming and cheering big shots and clutch putts. The Ryder Cup, which features a team of U.S. male golfers against a team from Europe in a bi-ennial match, is named after Samuel Ryder, the English businessman who donated the trophy in 1926.
MLB: COMMISSIONER'S TROPHY I(Credit: John Dunn)
The trophy's name comes from the presentation following the conclusion of the World Series when the commissioner awards it to the owner, general manager and manager of the winning team. A new trophy is made each year. The first trophy was awarded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 after they defeated the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. The only year it was not handed out was 1994 when a players' strike forced the cancellation of the postseason. The Yankees own seven Commissioner's trophies, the most in baseball.
MLB: COMMISSIONER'S TROPHY II(Credit: AP )
The slightly redesigned trophy was first given to the Yankees following the 2000 World Series. It was made by Tiffany & Co. and is worth $15,000. Much like the old trophy, it contains 30 flags representing each team. It is 30 inches high, 36 inches in diameter and weighs about 30 pounds.
NBA: WALTER A. BROWN TROPHY(Credit: Jason DeCrow)
The first NBA trophy was named after the original owner of the Boston Celtics who guided them to their first seven championships. The trophy took his name following his death in 1964. Before that, it was simply known as the "NBA Finals Trophy." It was awarded to the winner of the BAA/NBA championship game from 1943-1949. The trophy now resides in the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Only one trophy was made and was passed on each year to the winner until 1977. From 1978 to 1983, the NBA champion receive its own trophy.
NBA: LARRY O'BRIEN CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY(Credit: Getty Images)
A new design was introduced in 1977 but wasn't renamed for former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien until 1984. The trophy is 2 feet high, weighs in at 14.5 pounds of sterling silver with a 24-karat gold coating. It was produced by Tiffany & Co. and valued at approximately $13,500. The trophy depicts a ball falling into a net. In 2004, the trophy was taken on a nationwide tour to boost its appeal to the casual fan and become more recognizable. The winning team keeps the trophy and a new one is made each year.
HEISMAN TROPHY(Credit: AP )
Originally known as the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy when it was first presented to Jay Berwanger in 1935, the Heisman Trophy is handed to the "most outstanding college football player" each year. The trophy is made out of bronze, is 14 inches long, 13.5 inches high and weighs 25 pounds. The sculpture of the football player is modeled after Ed Smith, who was the friend of the sculptor Frank Eliscu. A new trophy is made each year.
NCAA BASKETBALL TROPHY(Credit: AP )
The team that prevails out of March Madness receives a gold-plated plaque on a wooden base. The school of the winning team also receives an elaborate marble and crystal trophy for display from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Let's not forget that the team also gets to cut down the nets.
FIFA WORLD CUP TROPHY(Credit: AP )
The first FIFA trophy was named the Jules Rimet Cup in 1946 after the founding father of the World Cup. The current trophy was created in 1974 and cannot be awarded anymore and is currently in FIFA's possession. A replica is awarded to each new winner. Each trophy is 14.5 inches high and made of 18-karat gold. It weighs just over 13 pounds. The bottom of the trophy bears the winning team and year.
THE MASTERS: GREEN JACKET(Credit: Getty Images)
The only trophy on this list that can be worn is the Green Jacket, awarded to the winner of The Masters. The tradition began in 1937 when Masters co-founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts thought members should wear matching jackets so spectators would know whom to ask for information.
PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: WANAMAKER TROPHY(Credit: AP )
The Wanamaker Trophy is the heaviest in golf at 27 pounds. It's named after businessman Rodman Wanamaker, who hosted an event with golfers to promote interest in the sport. They would eventually become the Professionals Golfers' Association of America. The original trophy stays on display at the PGA headquarters in Florida. It is engraved with each new winner, who receives a replica.
BRITISH OPEN: CLARET JUG(Credit: Getty Images)
The Claret Jug was first awarded to Tom Kidd in 1873. Before the Claret Jug existed, the winner of the British Open received a belt made of Moroccan leather. Much like the Stanley Cup, there are many version of the Claret Jug for traveling purposes. The original is housed at The Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse along with the belt. It is the oldest trophy in golf.
U.S OPEN GOLF TROPHY(Credit: Ed Betz)
The first U.S. Open was played in 1895 in Rhode Island. Horace Rawlins was the first winner of the tournament and received what was then called the Open Championship Cup trophy. The trophy was destroyed in a fire in 1946. Today, the trophy is simply known as the U.S. Open Trophy and is an exact replica of the original. It was created in 1947 and is housed USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in New Jersey. Winners receive an exact replica for their mantle.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN: NORMAN BROOKES CHALLENGE CUP(Credit: AP )
Norman Brookes was president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia for over 28 years and a celebrated Grand Slam winner in the early 1900s. He died in 1968 and was inducted into the tennis hall of fame in 1977. The trophy is modeled after the Warwick Vase, an 18th-century antiquity. The diameter of the bowl is 10 inches and 17 inches high. The 2011 winner will take home an exact full-size replica for the first time instead of a scaled down version compared to recent years.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN: DAPHNE AKHURST MEMORIAL CUP(Credit: AP )
Daphne Akhurst won the women's singles title five times and nine doubles titles at the Australian Open. The Australian-born athlete died in 1933 at age 29 due to an ectopic pregnancy. The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup was donated by the New South Wales Lawn Tennis Association and was first awarded in 1934. The 2011 winner will take home an exact full-size replica for the first time instead of a scaled down version compared to recent years.
WIMBLEDON: SILVER GUILT CUP(Credit: Getty Images)
The Silver Guilt Cup was first presented in 1887 and bares the inscription "The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World." The trophy stands 18.5 inches high and the lid is topped off with a small pineapple. After the trophy presentation, the winners receive a small replica for their own collection.
WIMBLEDON'S VENUS ROSEWATER DISH(Credit: Getty Images)
The Venus Rosewater Dish is modeled after the 16th-century pewter dish that currently resides at the Louvre in France. The sterling silver trophy was made in 1864 and has many mythological figures etched in the center of the dish. It's a little over 18 inches in diameter and all the winners since 1949 receive a scaled down replica.
U.S. OPEN MEN'S TENNIS TROPHY(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)
The tournament began in 1881 under the name the "U.S. National Championship." Since 1978, it has been held in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. The actual trophy is presented to the winner after the final match before it is sent to Tiffany & Co. where it is engraved with the new champion's name. The trophy returns to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Rhode Island. The winner receives an exact replica. It's 19.5 inches high, 17 inches wide and weighs seven pounds.
U.S. OPEN TENNIS WOMEN'S TROPHY(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)
The actual trophy is presented to the winner after the final match before it is sent to Tiffany & Co. where it is engraved with the new champion's name. The trophy returns to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Rhode Island. The winner receives an exact replica. The women's trophy is 12 inches high, 14.5 inches wide and weighs five pounds.
FRENCH OPEN'S COUPE DE MOUSQUETAIRES(Credit: AP )
The current trophy was redesigned in 1981. The original trophy is stored in the president's office of the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT). The name of the trophy means "Four Musketeers," for the four French men who dominated the sport (Jacques Brugnon, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste). A new replica is given to the winner each year and has their name and year engraved onto the plate holding the trophy.
FRENCH OPEN'S COUPE SUZANNE LENGLEN(Credit: AP )
The trophy is named after Suzanne Lenglen, who won 31 titles during her career and was credited with being one of the first flamboyant stars in the sport. She died of pernicious anemia at 39 in 1938. The winners receive a small replica of the trophy to take home after being presented with the real trophy.