On Tuesday, NBC Sports announced they received steel from the Bay Bridge to create a “Battle of the Bay” trophy for the rivalry between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.
Since the A’s joined the Giants on the West Coast in 1968, the Bay Bridge, which connects Oakland and San Francisco, quickly became the symbol of their crosstown rivalry. Similar to the Subway Series in New York and Lone Star Series in Texas, the Bay Bridge Series, also known as the Battle of the Bay or BART Series, is what many call the showdown between the A’s and Giants.
The construction on the bridge itself began in 1933 and when it was opened up in 1936 was the longest bridge in the world. An updated bridge was built across from the original and opened up in September of 2013. The bridge that will be used as part of the trophy is from the original, which is still being deconstructed and can been seen while crossing its replacement.
Just last week, the Giants and A’s split a two-home-two-away Bay Bridge series. After taking a game apiece at Oakland Coliseum, the teams split another pair of games at AT&T Park.
Now, the Bay Bridge will become even more engrained into this storied rivalry. On Tuesday, Brodie Brazil reported that NBC Sports will use steel from the old Bay Bridge to build a “Battle of the Bay” trophy.
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In Texas, the
compete for a similar trophy. Starting in 2000, the Silver Boot has been awarded to the winner of the Lone Star Series. The Rangers have won 12 of the first 16 Lone Star Series, but the Astros hold a 7-3 advantage over their rival with nine games left this season.
Although the A’s and Giants have played in close proximity since 1968, they hardly faced each other until 1997. Over the last 20 years, nine of the Bay Bridge series ended in ties. Of the remaining 11, the A’s won nine, including back-to-back Bay Bridge victories in 2007-2008 and 2013-2014.
However, the likelihood of the Battle of the Bay ending in a tie raises the question of which team will be awarded the trophy if that should happen. Perhaps the team who won the year before keeps it or it is placed on Yerba Buena Island, which is the midway point of the Bay Bridge.
Bay Area fans will have to wait for the answer of this question, along with what the trophy will look like, until the promised “Battle of the Bay” trophy is unveiled, presumably some time next year.