Once considered among the highest honors in the world of sports and certainly the most valuable, the Hickok Belt award recognized the top professional athlete of the year in the United States. Presnted annually to one deserving individual, this fabulous prize consisted of an alligator belt fastened by a solid gold buckle, inset with a four-carat diamond and other gemstones.
To determine the annual recipient, a panel of voters chose monthly winners throughout the year and then selected the annual winner from the pool of twelve candidates. Small compensation went to the runner-up monthly winners in the form of the belt buckle offered in this lot. This gold-plated presentation piece is consistent in style with known buckles awarded in 1959, however reverse side markings indicate this piece is a factory production sample. The obverse is constructed in typical Hickok style with a relief design of an athlete set inside a wreath with three banners that read “S. Rae Hickok Award, Professional Athlete”. The reverse is engraved at three different points with “Hickok USA” and “ZN-Alloy” and “Master Plate”. It is this third marking which reveals the nature of this vintage sports treasure, which remains bright and appealing with bold details and only minor signs of wear.