February 2013
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 2/27/2013

The story of the 1919 Canton Bulldogs championship is the story of player-coach Jim Thorpe and manager Ralph Hay. While Thorpe finished up his final major-league baseball season with the Boston Braves, Hay laid the groundwork for success by recruiting Joe Guyon (Thorpe's former teammate at Carlisle Indian School) and University of Nebraska end Guy Chamberlin—both future Hall of Famers. Once the season got underway, the 31-year-old Thorpe scored three rushing TDs against the Toledo Navy and led his squad to a 4-0 start. Then came a major showdown on November 3rd against the Hammond Bobcats—a.k.a., The $20,000 Team—in "what was billed at that time as the greatest pro football game every played," according to Thorpe biographer William A. Cook. The grueling 3-3 tie that day would ultimately be the only blemish on Canton's otherwise undefeated 9-0-1 record. Two subsequent victories against the rival Massillon Tigers officially earned the Bulldogs their third straight Ohio League title. In the first contest, Thorpe and Guyon hooked up for an 82-yard TD pass. In the final minutes of the much-heralded rematch, Thorpe sealed the win—and the championship—with a wind-aided 95-yard punt! On September 17th the following year, Ralph Hay hosted a gathering of gridiron team owners at his Hupmobile showroom in Canton's Odd Fellows Building. Thus, the National Football League was born—with Thorpe himself serving as the NFL's first president.

Proudly offered here is the great Jim Thorpe's personal championship trophy cup bestowed upon him by his fellow Canton Bulldogs. Measuring 9-3/4" tall by 12" wide, the spectacular showpiece exhibits EX/MT condition with perfect engraving detail and phenomenal raised ornamentation. A lovely overall patina is impacted only by an emulsion-type spotting/discoloration effect commensurate with age and silver composition. Little handled, there do not seem to be any of the usual bumps or bruises one might expect for a 90-year-old award of this magnitude. The dedication reads, "Presented by the / Canton Bulldogs Football Team / to / Jim Thorpe / As A Member Of The / World's Professional Champions / 1919." The underside appears to carry a portion of a manufacturer's imprint. Second only to Dick Kazmaier's 1951 Heisman Trophy (featured separately here), this is the most important trophy in the entire Dreier Collection.

Historically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL FormationHistorically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL FormationHistorically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL FormationHistorically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL Formation
Historically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL FormationHistorically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL FormationHistorically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL Formation
Historically Significant 1919 Jim Thorpe Professional Championship Trophy Cup Presented by Canton Bulldogs on the Cusp of NFL Formation
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final Bid(Includes Buyers Premium): $32,863
Number of Bids: 18
Auction closed on: 2/28/2013