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A Closer Look at the Tiffany & Co. Trophy Japan Won at the World Baseball Classic

Originally forged in 2005, the grail was recently updated with a 24-karat gold overlay.

Shohei Ohtani #16 of Team Japan holds the 2023 World Baseball Classic championship trophy after Team Japan defeated Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic Championship game at loanDepot Park on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 in Miami, Florida Photo by Mary DeCicco/Getty Images

Japan’s national baseball team just won in more ways than one.

After facing off against the U.S. in the World Classic Baseball Championship on Tuesday, Japan scored a 3-2 win, as well as Tiffany & Co.’s newly redesigned trophy for the event. The luxury jeweler first designed the award in 2005 and has continued handcrafting the respective iterations at its hollowware workshop in Rhode Island. Ahead of this year’s game at Miami’s loanDepot Park, the house gave the grail a new 24-karat gold overlay to accentuate the ball in the center. The eye-catching prize weighs 28 pounds, stands 24 inches tall, and comes with a Tiffany Blue case, naturally.

Tiffany & Co. World Classic Baseball Championship trophy inside blue box
The redesigned World Classic Baseball Championship trophy and its Tiffany Blue box. Tiffany & Co.

As you’d imagine, creating the trophy is no small feat. Tiffany’s artisans reportedly spent over four months on the design, using classic techniques such as soldering, stoning, polishing, and etching, as well as modern silversmithing tech. The hefty creation is eight pounds heavier than Tiffany’s Commissioner’s Trophy, which has been awarded to Major League Baseball World Series winners since 2000, and four pounds heavier than the All-Star Home Run Derby Trophy that the house designed in 1998. Baseball fans may recall that Tiffany’s history with baseball dates even further back than that, though.

In 1877, Tiffany’s chief designer Edward C. Moore designed a Medal of Valor featuring an interlocking “N” and “Y” insignia. (It reportedly inspired the iconic logo of the New York Yankees.) The jeweler created the first world championship baseball trophy a year later (the Hall Championship Cup) and is now responsible for a number of trophies in MLB.

Tiffany & Co. World Classic Baseball Championship 24-karat gold overlay
A close-up look at the 24-karat gold overlay at the center of the award. Tiffany & Co.

Tuesday’s matchup between what The New York Times describes as “two of the world’s baseball powerhouses” was made interesting by star players Shohei Ohanti and Mike Trout. Ohanti is a designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, while Trout plays as the team’s center fielder. Ultimately, Ohanti stood at the mound in the ninth inning and after a six-pitch strike out of Trout, he was able to lock in the championship title for the East Asian team. Team Japan is the most recent team to win the W.B.C., following Team USA’s 2017 championship win. 

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