Temple will get a taste of the Phillies’ World Series victory next week when former Owl Craig Solomon brings the World Series trophy to campus for display.
The Phillies franchise chose Solomon, 22, a recent Temple graduate, to showcase the trophy by traveling locally and nationally. So far, the alumnus made more than 100 appearances with the trophy, traveling more than 10,000 miles and showing it to nearly 110,000 people.
“Our main goal of the organization for this tour is to have as many people to see the trophy as possible and thanking them for the chance of having it,” Solomon said.
Solomon said he was born into his love for the game and for his hometown team.
“[Baseball] is something I’ve been involved in since I can remember,” he said. “It’s something I would like to spend my career being a part of.”
In 2007, Solomon, a former sport and recreation management major, landed an internship with the Phillies as an assistant concourse supervisor, which allowed him to work for Citizens Bank Park’s fan attractions and other postgame festivities.
After graduating in August 2008, his career with the Phillies solidified when the team offered him a full-time marketing position.
The Phillies won the World Series in a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in October 2008.
The team decided to take the trophy – symbolic of the city’s 25-year championship drought broken by the win – and show it around the world.
Solomon said the team’s management did not hesitate to request that he be keeper of the trophy.
“I proved myself to be credible, responsible and dedicated,” he said. “My work ethic showed them that I could be a reliable resource of taking on this important responsibility.”
Solomon said he was initially uncertain about the role he would play traveling with the award, but now, he has been on the road nearly every day since January. Most recently, he returned from a showing in Las Vegas.
“How many people can say they’ve taken the World Series trophy on tour?” he asked. “Not many people get to do the things I’m doing right now.”
When he flies with the 2-foot gold trophy, Solomon purchases three tickets – one for himself, one for his partner and one for the trophy. He said the Phillies’ prized possession, protected by a Tiffany & Co. bag and a black padded case, gets its own seat on the plane.
“We’re always careful when we handle it,” he said. “We take extra precautions, and there’s always somebody with it at all times.”
The World Series trophy, specially made by Tiffany & Co., weighs approximately 30 pounds. It features 30 gold-plated flags, representing each of the Major League Baseball teams. The trophy’s estimated value is $15,000.
Solomon said what continues to amaze him every time he displays the trophy at different locations is seeing people waiting for hours at malls to get a glimpse of it.
“We go to a mall, and the line will already be there before we even could even get there,” he said. “It’s great to see everybody wearing Phillies apparel in winter months, even when the team isn’t playing yet.”
That cold October night when the Phillies continued the previously delayed World Series home game, Solomon said he was coordinating various events with sponsors during the historic game and wasn’t able to see all of it.
But he had the chance to see the last inning.
“I wasn’t around in the city last time any of the major teams won championships,” he said. “This experience is something I will never forget.”
Solomon said he attributes his success with the Phillies to his Temple education.
“Temple didn’t just base education out of textbooks,” he said. “They went beyond to use a lot of hands-on opportunities.”
Solomon will return to Temple with the trophy and display it at the Bell Tower March 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sergei Blair can be reached at email@example.com.