The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics won't just be playing to win when they square off in July. They'll be playing for an actual trophy with historical significance.
The team with the most head-to-head wins following two separate three-game sets right before and right after the upcoming All-Star break will be awarded with "The Bridge" trophy, which is being crafted out of actual steel salvaged from the old eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
"In addition to the spirited bragging rights among the fans, 'The Bridge' will elevate the friendly cross-bay rivalry and raise the stakes during the teams' annual Bay Bridge Series," NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Stathakes said in a statement back in March.
The award, which was commissioned by NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California and both ball clubs, stands 18 inches tall and weighs in at 30 pounds. That's much less than the roughly 4,500-pound, 10-foot long and 1-inch thick slab of steel that parts of the trophy were originally sheered off from.
"The main thing was that we had to use a piece of the real old Bay Bridge," Ron Holthuysen with Scientific Art Studio in Richmond said. "That was crazy because the chunks that are cut up are always hundreds of pounds minimal. And this was a trophy the winner had to be able to put above their head like in triumph."
Artists from Scientific Art Studio and The Crucible, an industrial arts school in Oakland, joined forces to design and shape the trophy.
Their customizable trophy features four different parts: an upside-down T-shaped structure with the horizontal feature representing a bridge support beam and the vertical portion in the shape of a bridge truss, a bronze Giants logo, a bronze Athletics logo, and a bronze baseball flashing the words "Bay Bridge Series."
"[The clients] wanted to have something that was more literally a part of the bridge, so we created a small version of the truss that the bridge is based out of," Holthuysen said. "So we made out of the big bridge a little bridge."
The Giants and A's will kick off the first of two regular season series on July 13 in San Francisco. The teams will then travel across the Bay for another three-game set at the Oakland Coliseum beginning on July 20.
The team with more wins at the end of that Bay Bridge Series and future editions of the Bay Bridge Series will hoist the trophy. If the teams split the series, the winner of the final game will be awarded with the prize.
The two bronze logos and baseball can and will be rearranged on the trophy based on the results of each Bay Bridge Series. If San Francisco wins, the Giants logo will be moved to the top of the trophy. If Oakland wins, the A's logo will be take the high seat.
Oakland leads the head-to-head series with San Francisco 59-55 since 1997.