Fishing and football don't ordinarily go together, but don't tell that to Case Western Reserve University and the College of Wooster. When the Spartans and the Scots meet on the gridiron, the winner claims one of the most unique trophy traditions in college sports, the Baird Brothers Trophy (SEE PICTURE). This trophy, noted in a 1995 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine as one of the most unique trophies in college football, consists of a golden fishing stringer with carved brass fish representing each meeting.
The trophy's beginnings date back to 1984 when Bob Baird an economics professor at Case and his brother Bill Baird, an economics professor at Wooster came up with the idea. The winner of the game gets to keep the stringer for the year and add a new fish for that year's contest. Each added fish is representative of how the game was played, with the score and winner engraved on the side. The original fish is a four-inch blue gill symbolizing the narrow last second Case victory, 21-14. A big northern pike denotes the Spartans 37-0 victory over the Scots in 1985. Other fish included on the trophy are a flounder, a carp, a walleye, a catfish, a rainbow trout, a sturgeon, a sucker, a crappie, a muskie, a sheepshead, a gar, a largemouth bass, and a smallmouth bass.
The Baird brothers originated the trophy in 1984 when Wooster and Case first met as members of the North Coast Athletic Conference. The brothers, economic professors at the rival schools, were taught by their father to fish at an early and thought the fish theme would be a fitting reward to the victors. Bob Baird passed away a few years ago, but his brother Bill still carries on the tradition of presenting the trophy to the winning team at the conclusion of the game.
The two schools have met 18 times, with Wooster holding an 13-6 advantage in the all-time series [for the Baird Trophy] with Case.
1984 Case 21, Wooster 14 - Case 1-0
1985 Case 37, Wooster 0 - Case 2-0
1986 Case 17, Wooster 0 - Case 3-0
1987 Case 20, Wooster 13 - Case 4-0
1988 Case 38, Wooster 27 - Case 5-0
1989 Case 14, Wooster 35 - Case 5-1
1990 Case 15, Wooster 22 - Case 5-2
1991 Case 20, Wooster 23 - Case 5-3
1994 Case 40, Wooster 23 - Case 6-3
1995 Case 13, Wooster 14 - Case 6-4
1996 Case 7, Wooster 21 - Case 6-5
1997 Case 14, Wooster 21 - Tie 6-6
1998 Case 16, Wooster 42 - Wooster 7-6
1999 Case 27, Wooster 31 - Wooster 8-6
2002 Case 22, Wooster 27 - Wooster 9-6
2003 Case 33, Wooster 62 - Wooster 10-6
2004 Case 7, Wooster 49 - Wooster 11-6
2005 Case 21, Wooster 38 - Wooster 12-6
2006 Case 7, Wooster 21 - Wooster 13-6
2007 Case 30, Wooster 17 - Wooster 13-7
2008 Case 28, Wooster 7 - Wooster 13-8