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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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Bucs’ LeGrand makes rookie card debut in Prestige Football

Posted Jun 27, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Jun 27, 2012 at 07:56 PM

The signing of Eric LeGrand to a contract by the Bucs on May 2 was symbolic, but it’s a feel-good story that keeps getting better.

LeGrand was a 6-foot-2, 275-pound junior at Rutgers when he fractured two vertebrae and suffered severe spinal damage while making a tackle against Army on Oct. 16, 2010. He has been making progress, regaining limited movement in his arms and some sensation in his body. On May 2, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by Tampa Bay, now headed by his college coach at Rutgers, Greg Schiano.

The Bucs have been selling replicas of LeGrand’s No. 52 jersey on for $99.95 each, with proceeds going to the Eric LeGrand Foundation for spinal cord research.

If you’re a player in the NFL, there’s that special thrill about being included in a set of pro football cards. For months, we’ve been reading about the rookie cards of top draft picks like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

Now, include Eric LeGrand in the mix.

LeGrand will be included in 2012 sets put out by Panini America, starting with the Prestige Football set that was released Wednesday.

Prestige Football originally was supposed to contain 200 veteran cards and 100 rookie cards. Make that 101 rookie cards now. LeGrand is card No. 301 in the set.

The front of the card depicts LeGrand during the news conference at One Buc Place that introduced him to the media. The back of the card provides his statistics from the 2010 season and his overall college career numbers.

Hobby boxes of 2012 Prestige Football will contain 24 packs, and four autograph or memorabilia cards will be included. The price will be in the $100 range.

Prestige also will be sold in retail packs (at $2.99 per pack), blaster boxes ($19.99) and value packs ($4.99) at stores like Target and Walmart.

After the signing, Schiano told The Tampa Tribune that LeGrand “can be an inspiration to others.”

“This guy is, in my book, a true hero and a true inspiration,” Schiano said.

Thanks to Panini, more football fans will be exposed to LeGrand’s inspirational story.

Reader Comments

Por (csmorkt) on June 28, 2012 (Suggest removal)

While I salute this young man, his attitude and the organization’s symbolic gesture, truth is this is just further distraction from the true state of affairs of this team and isn’t going to impact the W side of the W\L columns and their progression.

Continued success young man and keep that head high.

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