Astros' World Series trophy damaged during fundraiser in Houston

For 56 years the most difficult challenge the Houston Astros faced was winning the World Series. Now that they’ve done it, the next biggest challenge will apparently be keeping the Commissioner’s Trophy in one piece.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the championship trophy took a hard fall at the men’s gala charity event on Wednesday night at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Astros owner Jim Crane brought the trophy so that attendees could catch a glimpse, but apparently one person tried to get a little too close. That led to the table collapsing and several of the trophy’s flags being bent.

The trophy was quickly returned to its place and the event continued without any acknowledgment of the damage. The museum has since released a statement explaining what happened, while noting the trophy was restored to its original form before the night was over.

“Mr. James Crane, principal owner of the Houston Astros, brought the World Series Trophy to the Museum’s annual fundraiser, ‘One Great Night in November.’

“The trophy was set on a table, and guests were invited to be photographed with it. Later in the evening, the table shifted and the trophy started to slide as a photograph was being taken. A guest grabbed it quickly, and several of the flagpoles on the trophy were bent as a result.

“Immediately afterward, the museum’s conservation specialist for decorative arts, who was a guest at the event, took the trophy to his laboratory at the museum, and straightened the bent flagpoles. It was returned, fully restored to its original appearance, to Mr. Crane, who returned home with it that evening.”

Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros holds the Commissioner’s Trophy during the team’s championship parade. (AP)

This isn’t the first time a version of the Commissioner’s Trophy has shown its resilience.

In the aftermath of the Chicago Cubs World Series victory last season, the Cubs trophy was damaged during a charity event when team president Theo Epstein passed it around while Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder was performing. In that case, a few of the gold-plated flags were snapped off. That fix was a little more complicated, but the trophy was eventually restored.

Given the circumstances surrounding both teams, it’s understandable why the teams are eager to show the trophy off. It’s just as understandable why fans are eager to get close to it. If there’s a lesson to be learned here though, it might be that too much access isn’t good for the trophy’s long-term prognosis. When it comes to protecting the most important piece of the team’s history, some better protection might be in order.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!