Trophies unveiled at Tiffany & Co.
Honorary couriers share in All-Star week kickoff event
NEW YORK -- Surrounded by glass cases filled with diamonds and gold stood three pieces of silver too large to fit into any jewelry box.
They sat on tall black display boxes at the Tiffany & Co. store in New York City on Thursday morning, and the form of two criss-crossed silver baseball bats stood out as a clear representation of what the pieces symbolized.
It was the State Farm Home Run Derby Trophy, on display for a rare viewing alongside the World Series Most Valuable Player Trophy Presented by Chevrolet and the Commissioner's Trophy, delivered to the World Series champion each year.
The event served as a kickoff to the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star week, which will culminate on July 15 with the All-Star Game to be played at Yankee Stadium in its final season.
"People from around the world, when they travel to New York City, they come and visit us here at Tiffany," said Tom O'Rourke, Tiffany's vice president of business sales. "Knowing that baseball has a global presence and that this game will be watched around the world, I think it's appropriate that we use a worldwide icon to launch into the Midsummer Classic."
Following the viewing period, three DHL couriers carried the trophies outside to the yellow and red trucks which were then escorted by police to the Jacob K. Javits Center, the home of the 2008 DHL All-Star FanFest.
And the DHL employees got some help from a few "honorary couriers."
Six fans, ages 14-16, from the Children's Aid Society, an affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, were invited to help launch the event and send off the trophies. They stood for pictures beside the awards and in front of the trucks, trying to figure out which clicking camera to look at before they helped with the loading.
Elliot Henriquez said he would normally be working or playing a video game -- MLB 08: The Show, to be specific.
A Yankees fan, Henriquez dreams of being able to play second base in the Major Leagues like his favorite player, Robinson Cano. Standing next to the Commissioner's Trophy gave him the chance to experience the same feelings as some of the game's best players.
"You're just thinking, 'Wow,'" Henriquez said. "You could feel how the baseball players feel when they win that trophy after all those days of hard work."
Henriquez was joined by Bryant McAdoo, Melissha McRae, Ilianna Ayala, Samantha Bynes and Robert Saunders.
Before the trophies made their way to FanFest, the group posed behind the State Farm Home Run Derby Trophy. On Monday night, the winning slugger will do the same.
"Not many people get this close to these trophies," O'Rourke said. "You're looking at three awards that symbolize the game's greatest accomplishment. And for a child looking up to these professional athletes, who ultimately will be holding these awards after winning on the field, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Samantha Newman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.