Summer Premier Auction 2014


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/24/2014
An international award named for its donor John Moores, a wealthy sportsman from Birmingham, England, the John Moores Trophy was created in 1938 to recognize the World Amateur Baseball Champion. The original competition, which was held that summer in England, pitted a team of high school and college players from the United States, coached by former major leaguer and international baseball advocate Leslie Mann, against a squad from England, which was comprised mostly of semi-pro players from the Yorkshire Lancashire League. England’s team was coached by George McNeil.

The first tournament was won by the players from England, four games to one, as they played in the following cities from August 13 through 18: Hull, Rochdale, Halifax and Leeds. The competition actually drew crowds of up to 10,000 fans per venue. Moores was said to be so happy with the results that he decided to donate a trophy to the winners. Baseball was commanding a worldwide audience and much of that was due to Mann’s efforts, who, after retiring from professional baseball as a player and coach, became an advocate for baseball as an international sport. He founded the U.S.A. Baseball Congress, and organized a 20-game tour of Japan in 1935. Through his efforts, baseball was selected as a demonstration sport in the 1936 Summer Olympics played in Berlin.

The World Amateur Baseball competition continued in 1939 with teams from Cuba and Nicaragua joining the mix. The Cubans, led by their star pitcher Conrado Marrero, went undefeated to claim the title. The same result held true the following year and is reflected on the trophy itself with special engravings that indicate the winner from each year. During the 1940’s the tournament started to become a Central American and Caribbean affair. In 1942, in fact, Team USA withdrew from the competition as a form of protest against the influence of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo as well as the onset of World War II. Over the years, a total of 14 different countries participated in the competition, each one represented with an enameled flag emblem adorning the trophy’s lower tier including Canada, France, China, Peru, Spain, Nicaragua, Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The United States would eventually take top honors in 1956.

The truly elaborate trophy, which stands 49” tall, 17” wide and 17” deep, is made almost entirely of sterling silver, much of it hand tooled, and weighs nearly 80 pounds. It’s a masterful work of art as four sterling silver baseballs serve as its base while four 14” sterling silver bats provide the framework for a centerpiece that includes an over-sized, globe-style baseball that sports a raised-relief map of the world that’s complemented by decorative baseball seams. On the over-sized baseball is raised lettering that calls out: “World’s Amateur Baseball Championship.” On the top of the trophy stands a 14” mythical heroic figure, complete with an Olympic-style crown of olive leaves around his head. The intricate design work all around the trophy is breathtaking to behold.

On the back of the trophy the following words are engraved: “Designed and Manufactured by Vaughtons, LTD. Birmingham. England.” The front of the trophy base is engraved with the following passage: “Presented to the International Baseball Federation by John Moores, Esq. President and Founder of the National Baseball Association England.”

Includes a Letter of Provenance from the Helms Athletic Foundation/LA84 Collection.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $195,072
Number Bids:24
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