|© Luke Johnson/Southcreek Global|
Two nights ago the sports world watched an astonishing drama unfold during the final games of Major League Baseball's regular season. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated aptly described it as "the most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history." With the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees less than three outs away from winning their respective games, fans witnessed a series of spectacular, come-from-behind plays that propelled the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays to victory.
What does this have to do with antique automobiles? Well, there's a good chance that the 2011 Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards presented by the American and National Leagues will go to athletes that played in Wednesday night's games. And, it just so happens that baseball's first MVP award originated with an automobile company. Just over 100 years ago, the Chalmers Motor Car Company cleverly decided to promote their cars by piggy-backing onto baseball's popularity at the time. In 1910, president Hugh Chalmers announced that the player from each league with the highest batting average would be presented with a trophy and brand-new Chalmers Model Thirty. Controversy soon surrounded the American League's top contenders, Ty Cobb and Napoleon Lajoie, which Chalmers sidestepped by awarding each a new car.
|Photo courtesy of the Creamer Family|
While it remains to be determined who will be remembered as baseball's Most Valuable Players from 2011, this Chalmers-Detroit has already established itself as one of Alaska's most valuable automotive artifacts. While she still needs work to get her in top running condition, hopefully she will be ready to run in next year's Golden Days Parade--exactly 100 years after her arrival in this fair city.