A long-lost trophy commemorating the 1946 Cleveland Browns championship has made its way back home.
First uncovered in a North Carolina garage by the crew from a cable TV show about nine months ago, the valuable trophy will go on display in the Browns’ office.
The trophy represents the Browns’ first-ever football championship. It was paid for by the 38 players on the team, coached by Paul Brown. The players, most of whom had served in World War II, had received lapel pins but felt ownership should have a tangible reminder of their accomplishment.
The trophy was in the garage of a home owned by Gary Cole, who is the grandson of a former minority owner of the team.
Cleveland was a blossoming powerhouse in the All American Football Conference in ’46. They would win league title in ’47, ’48 and ’49 and after moving to the NFL in 1950, they’d win another title there. Brown and several members of that 1946 team are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The crew from the DIY television network show Garage Gold had been called to check out Cole’s garage and located the trophy, which was taken to a local appraiser who happened to be a Browns’ fan.
The show itself will air early next year, but the meantime, Jeff Schudel of the Morning Herald offers more background on the remarkable discovery.
You can watch the story from Cleveland.com below featuring an interview with Tony Dick, the team’s Alumni Manager.