Every winner looks forward to receiving their championship ring — the pinnacle of personal achievement. But as far as the teams go, nothing means more than a championship trophy. Players love to display it proudly for their fans. Each of the four major sports leagues has its own customized trophy. But which one is the most valuable?
Investopedia examined the value of the four major sports trophies. Let’s look at the significance of each and which one is the most valuable.
4. Larry O’Brien Trophy: $13,500
Named after former NBA commissioner Larry O’Brien, each year the NBA commissioner hands this trophy to the winner of the NBA Finals. The silver award weighs 14.5 pounds and is two feet tall. Every year, a new trophy is designed so the last year’s champion can keep theirs to display at their arena or facility.
The trophy awarded to the NBA champion was initially called the Walter A. Brown Trophy, named after the original owner of the Boston Celtics and a key figure in the early evolution of the NBA. The new trophy received O’Brien’s name in 1977.
3. Commissioner’s Trophy: $19,000
MLB began handing out its top prize during the 1967 season. Each year, a Commissioner’s Trophy is made so the World Series winner can hang onto the one they won. The league redesigned the trophy in 2000, and it takes roughly three months to build. From 1967-96, the trophy presentation took place in the clubhouse of the World Series winners. Since 1997, it takes place on the field following the last out.
2. Lombardi Trophy: $50,000
Awarded to the winner of the NFL’s Super Bowl, this trophy is named after legendary Green Bay Packers’ coach Vince Lombardi. This 2-feet-tall sterling silver trophy is designed to look exactly like a football. It takes about four months to make it. As with the previously mentioned trophies, each year a new one is built for that year’s champion.
The Green Bay Packers earned the first two Lombardi Trophies, and then it was renamed after Lombardi in 1971. One interesting fact surrounding the Lombardi Trophy: While there have been 54 Super Bowl winners, the NFL has created 55 Lombardi Trophies.
When Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom traded the Colts for the Rams in 1972, he stole the trophy to display at a party and never returned it. Then-commissioner Pete Rozelle ordered a replica to replace it and awarded that to the Colts.
1. Stanley Cup: $650,000
The Stanley Cup is the most valuable sports trophy in North American sports at $650,000. In circulation since 1892, it has humble beginnings. Lord Stanley, the governor-general of Canada at the time, purchased a punch bowl for just under $50 to create the first Stanley Cup.
Unlike the other aforementioned trophies, this trophy is one of a kind. Each offseason, each member of the winning organization (players, coaches, front office, and more) gets to possess the Cup for 24 hours. Travel costs for the cup are usually around $2,000.
The Cup may be a legendary trophy, but did you know it also has plenty of typos? Several players from winning teams throughout the years have names spelled incorrectly.