There's a trophy on the line in this year's edition of the Bay Bridge Series.
In a six-game series, the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants will play for The Bridge, a trophy designed to commemorate the franchises' shared history and to give one very happy fanbase bragging rights. Here's everything you need to know.
When is the Bay Bridge Series?
The A’s and Giants meet for the first time this season Friday through Sunday for a weekend series at AT&T Park. The series continues July 20-22 after the All-Star break with three games at the Coliseum.
How does one team win The Bridge?
Starting in 2018, The Bridge will be awarded to the team that wins more games in the Bay Bridge Series during the regular season.
If the series finishes tied, the winner of the final game wins The Bridge. Had the trophy been awarded last year, the Giants would have won The Bridge under these circumstances: The series was split 2-2, but San Francisco won the last game.
If one or more games is postponed and the series has not yet been clinched, The Bridge will not be awarded until the postponed game(s) can be made up. If the postponed game(s) can not be made up, the standing of the series at the end of the season determines the winner of the trophy. Whether or not postponed games are made up, if the series ends in a tie, the team that wins the final game will be awarded The Bridge.
Where will The Bridge be awarded?
As soon as the Bay Bridge Series is clinched by either the A’s or Giants, The Bridge will be awarded to the winning team. If The Bridge is won by the home team, the trophy will be awarded on the field immediately following the clinching game. If The Bridge is clinched by the visiting team, the trophy will be awarded in the visitor’s clubhouse shortly following the clinching game.
This year, the trophy will be awarded at the Coliseum, where the final three games of the series will take place.
Who holds the current edge in the Bay Bridge Series?
Since interleague play began in 1997, the A's lead the Giants 59-55 in head-to-head matchups in the regular season.
What is the origin of The Bridge?
Last season, NBC Sports California anchor/reporter Brodie Brazil was watching a Chicago Cubs-Chicago White Sox “Crosstown Classic” interleague game on NBC Sports Chicago. He heard the White Sox announcers Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone discussing the Crosstown Cup and noticed the hashtag #CrosstownCup on social media.
After some research, Brazil learned that, since 2010, the Cubs and White Sox play for the Crosstown Cup during the teams’ annual interleague series.
Brazil proposed The Bridge trophy concept to his colleagues at NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California.
The Bridge isn't the only rivalry trophy around the big leagues, either. The winner of the Lone Star Series between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers is awarded the Silver Boot Trophy. The winner of the Battle of Ohio, an interleague series between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, is awarded the Ohio Cup.
Who made The Bridge?
The design and construction of The Bridge is a collaborative effort by Scientific Art Studio -- whose work includes two popular features inside AT&T Park’s Fan Lot, the Giant Glove and Coca-Cola Bottle Slide -- and The Crucible, an Oakland-based industrial arts school.
The Bridge is comprised of four components, several of which are interchangeable: a bronze Oakland Athletics logo, a bronze San Francisco Giants logo and a bronze baseball with an engraved “Bay Bridge Series” logo. They are attached to a T-base with a horizontal foundation in the form of a Bay Bridge bottom chord (or horizontal support beam) and an upright section, with an NBC Sports logo, derived from a vertical member of the old Bay Bridge truss. Winners of the Bay Bridge Series will be engraved on a plate attached to the side of the trophy.
Each year, the arrangement of the trophy components depends on the outcome of the Bay Bridge Series. Should the A’s win the series, the A’s logo will be mounted on top of the trophy. Should the Giants win the series, the Giants logo will mounted on top of the trophy. The trophy is approximately 18 inches tall and weighs approximately 30 pounds.