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History Lesson: The Chalmers Trophy

If you think we have controversies surrounding the postseason awards now, you should have been around in 1910. From Way Back and Gone, it's a short history of the late great Chalmers' Trophy:

The Chalmers Automobile Company was a major brand of automobiles in the early 20th century. It flourished throughout the 1910's, but after WWI, it fell on hard times and was done by 1923. In a sense, the Chalmers vehicles were the Lexus of today as their cars sold for around $1,500 when most other models sat in the $400-$700 range. But in 1910, owner Hugh Chalmers decided to make a big push into the advertising business by starting an award to take advantage of baseball's popularity.

Originally, the award was to go to the player with the best batting average. The award of having said average was a beautiful new Chalmers Model 30, commonly called a "Thirty-Six". But the award had some problems from the start. Nap Lajoie and Ty Cobb were making a serious run at the batting title, and they were so far ahead of everyone else that it was really a two-man race. Lajoie and Cobb didn't really like each other (no one really got along with Cobb), and it was a fairly bitter affair.

True baseball freaks know how this story turned out, but if you're unfamiliar, I highly recommend a click-through. After reading it, you may view pitch-tipping in a whole new light.