Mid-Am trophy straightens up, flies right

Posted January 24, 2007 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

During the Association's Centennial, 1998-99, the WPGA purchased a beautiful sterling silver trophy for the Mid-Amateur from the highly respected English trophy broker, Nick Winton. This was done with the goal of having the Mid-Am trophy equal to the style and value of the historic championship mementoes like the Amateur (1899), Open (1899), and Junior (1921). The trophy was named for John Birmingham. Birmingham was one of the best players in Western Pennsylvania in the 1960s, winning three consecutive West Penn Amateurs from 1966 to 1968, two Pennsylvania Amateurs and the 1972 West Penn Open.

Unfortunately, the trophy developed a tilt a few years ago, and it was difficult to find someone to repair it. The two piece trophy with a screw holding the pieces wouldn't straighten up. Executive Director Jeff Rivard commented that the Mid-Am trophy looked like " . . . Igor in the movie Young Frankenstein."

This winter after getting a lead from the Virginia State Golf Association, the trophy was sent to Williamsburg, Virginia, to Mark Frankel, whose roots are in Western Pennsylvania, in St. Mary's. Frankel, an accomplished silversmith who makes and repairs trophies, fixed the Mid-Am trophy, restoring it to its original glory and posture.

Now if we can just be more careful in transporting it . . .