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Culture / Sporting Life

Astros’ World Series Trophy Gets Busted Up at Fancy Black-Tie Museum Party

Houston’s Great Trophy Accident Enters the All-Time Sports Annals

BY // 11.10.17

Sports’ biggest championship trophies are seldom handled with care. The Stanley Cup’s had more beer poured into it than Harry Caray. Tennis star Rafael Nadal infamously bit the French Open trophy. And Michael Jordan’s slept with the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy more than some athletes sleep with their wives.

Fitting with their championship run that defied imagination, the Houston Astros are throwing a completely novel twist at the championship trophy shenanigans.

The Astros’ world championship trophy — officially The Commissioner’s Trophy in Major League Baseball —  got damaged in a fall at a black-tie men’s-only event at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Yes, the Astros are even classing up trophy mishaps. While bending a few of those 30 team flags that grace the sterling silver Commissioner’s Trophy.

According to Houston Chronicle writer Wei-Huan Chen’s often-hilarious, first-person report from scene of the crime… er, accident … the World Series trophy went down when a waiter inadvertently collided with a fundraiser attendee and they knocked into the table holding the trophy, collapsing the table and sending the prized hardware slamming into the floor.

MFAH officials dispute this account in their own detailed near play-by–play of trophygate.

“The trophy was set on a table, and guests were invited to be photographed with it,” the museum notes in its official statement. “Later in the evening, the table shifted and the trophy started to slide as a photograph was being taken. A guest grabbed it quickly, and several of the flagpoles on the trophy were bent as a result.”

Regardless of exactly how it happened, the bottom line is Astros owner Jim Crane brought the trophy to a fancy black-tie event (one where only men are invited — and bringing your own prized wine bottles from your cellar to drink with the boys has become something of a tradition) and it got a little busted up. That’s funny — that’s worth a spot on the all-time great sports trophy mishap tales.

If the trophy gets a little beaten around on a night out with the owner imagine what’s going to happen when speedo-celebration king/outfielder Josh Reddick gets his night with it.

And if a trophy’s going to get damaged, it turns out a museum used to handling priceless artifacts with care is a good place to do it. The MFAH’s conservation specialist for decorative arts, who conveniently was a guest at the event, immediately sprung into action and took the damaged trophy away to his laboratory to work on it.

The damaged flagpoles were restored on the spot — and The Commissioner’s Trophy was back in Crane’s hands, looking as good as ever, before he was ready to leave for the night. The museum’s “One Great Night in November” fundraiser took on the new meaning — and a repolished championship gleam.

Major League Baseball is probably none the wiser! Oh wait… there’s that little thing about this being the world championship trophy. People tend to pay attention to that sort of thing.

If the trophy gets a little beaten around on a night out with the owner imagine what’s going to happen when speedo-celebration king/outfielder Josh Reddick gets his night with it. Josh Reddick had better be getting a night with it!

Stay tuned for the next addition of As the Trophy Turns…

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