SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics will have something more to play for when the two teams meet in the Bay Bridge Series during the regular season -- an 18-inch trophy made out of steel salvaged from the original eastern span of the bridge.The two teams
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics will have something more to play for when the two teams meet in the Bay Bridge Series during the regular season -- an 18-inch trophy made out of steel salvaged from the original eastern span of the bridge.
The two teams held a joint news conference Monday prior to their game at AT&T Park to reveal a rendering of the perpetual trophy, which will feature bronze logos from both teams with the winner's logo going on top.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy and CEO Larry Baer, along with A's manager Bob Melvin and team president Dave Kaval, were among those in attendance.
"Any time you get a chance to win some hardware that's a good thing," Bochy said. "The fact it is a piece of the old Bay Bridge is pretty cool. Whoever came up with that, I tip my cap to them. It's going to be a neat thing. It's going to be added interest, a little bit more pressure on Bob and myself with this trophy being presented but that's a good thing in our game."
Melvin, who grew up and attended college in the Bay Area, agreed and said the trophy is comparable to the ax given to the winner of the college football game between California and Stanford every year.
"It's similar to the ax, the Cal and Stanford ax, and that's a big deal," Melvin said. "This is going to be a big deal to our fans. The Bay Bridge is so symbolic of where we are and where they are. Reminds me a lot of traffic too.
"I've been across that bridge many times in my youth and I think it's great that we will take a piece of this, and someone will get it at the end of the series."
The A's and Giants will play a pair of three-game series against each other this season, at the Coliseum in Oakland and the other at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The winner of the series will be awarded the trophy at the end. If there is a split of the six games, the team that won the final game will be awarded the trophy.
Discussions about crafting a trophy first began eight months ago and officials were given the approval to use steel from the old bridge in December. Although the trophy has yet to be finished, it's expected to be completed by the time the two teams meet after the All-Star break July 20-22.
The hope is that the trophy will add to the significance of the rivalry between the two Northern California neighbors.
"I saw when I was in soccer the value of the rivalries internationally and what it can do for sports," Kaval said. "I think we need more of that in baseball and it will bring new fans in our sport and create excitement here in the Bay Area, a two-team market for baseball. I'm thrilled. I think it looks great. I think it's going to be a great addition to the landscape of Bay Area sports."
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.