Class Year




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Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2010


The world of college football, always colorful and exciting, is perhaps at its best on chilly October Saturdays, with the stands packed for Homecoming. There is a grand parade, a Homecoming Queen, an exciting game between gridiron rivals prompting the large crowd to roar with delight as the hometown heroes march dramatically down the field to victory, or perhaps dig in to preserve the lead with time running out and their backs to their own goal. Perhaps a coveted trophy will be awarded to the winning team. Ceremonies will follow the game: a trophy presentation at midfield, in full view of the cheering fans, honors for the game’s best players, and a barren spot in the trophy case filled, for at least one more year, with a much-desired symbol of victory. It is easy to imagine such a scene taking place in Notre Dame Stadium after an epic struggle with the University of Southern California, or perhaps as Stanford turns over the massive Stanford Axe to Cal after another edition of The Big Game. Maybe it is not so easy to imagine the Gettysburg Bullets gathering around their own trophy after a hard-fought triumph over their own in-state rivals, the Muhlenberg Mules. Yet in 1954 an attempt to create such a tradition did take place. While it never reached the heights of intensity that those great long-time rivalries did, a trophy called the Old Tin Cup spent eleven years as the prize for the victor’s of the Gettysburg-Muhlenberg game. During that time, it was the focus of newspaper articles, parades, and even halftime ceremonies. [excerpt]

Course Information:

  • Course Title: HIST 300: Historical Method
  • Academic Term: Spring 2010
  • Course Instructor: Dr. Michael J. Birkner '72

Hidden in Plain Sight is a collection of student papers on objects that are "hidden in plain sight" around the Gettysburg College campus. Topics range from the Glatfelter Hall gargoyles to the statue of Eisenhower and from historical markers to athletic accomplishments. You can download the paper in pdf format and click "View Photo" to see the image in greater detail.


Gettysburg College, Hidden in Plain Sight, football, Gettysburg Bullets, Old Tin Cup, trophies, Muhlenberg Mules, sports rivalries


Public History | United States History

Department 1


Campus Location

Bream Athletic Center

The Old Tin Cup