1. Stanford Axe
Awarded to the winner of the Big Game: Stanford vs. Cal
The Stanford Axe made its first appearance way back on April 13, 1899 when it was first used in a Stanford cheer in which they would decapitate a straw man dressed in Cal colors. Just two days later the Axe was brought out in San Francisco for a baseball game between the two schools and used throughout the game, which Stanford lost. After the game Stanford students wondered if the axe was cursed, but while discussing it, a group of Cal students was able to snatch the Axe, which gave way to a great chase.
The Axe was passed from student to student as Stanford students and San Francisco police chased the Axe through the streets of the city, during which the handle of the axe broke off. A Cal student was able to conceal the Axe, evade police inspection, and bring the Axe to Berkeley, where it stayed for years under heavy protection.
In 1930 a group of Stanford students plotted to take the Axe back from Cal, but it would not be an easy feat. The Axe was kept in a bank vault and only brought out on rare occasions, in an armored car. The Stanford students decided to strike on April 3, 1930 after a spring Axe rally. To get the Axe back the Stanford students posed as photographers, blinded the Grand Custodian of the Axe with flashes and grabbed the Axe while other Stanford students tossed either a smoke bomb or tear gas into the crowd of Cal students protecting the Axe, allowing Stanford to make off with the Axe.
In 1933 it was decided that the Axe would be awarded to the winner of the Big Game each year, but that did not stop more attempts at stealing the Axe. Since 1933, Cal students have stolen the Axe three times, and Stanford students four times.
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