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 TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Upper Deck beefs up production for Hoffman card
Posted Apr 22, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 09:01 PM
It seems like everything Jack Hoffman does is groundbreaking. That’s because his story is such a great one. And Upper Deck is giving him a chance to tell his own story.
On April 6, in front of more than 60,000 fans, Hoffman, a 7-year-old who is battling pediatric brain cancer, lined up in the University of Nebraska’s backfield during the Cornhuskers’ spring football game. He then took off on a twisting, reverse-field 69-yard run for a touchdown, starting left, then changing gears and running up the middle and outrunning the defense, to the delight of the fans and the players. After the game, Jack, a rabid Cornhuskers fan, received a game ball from Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.
Last week, Upper Deck created a “Star Rookie” card for Hoffman, but it was only a digital image except for some blow-up versions of the card that Jack could sign and use for charitable purposes. But as Upper Deck sports marketing manager Chris Carlin wrote in his blog today, the response to Jack’s card was greater than the company and the Hoffman family could have hoped for.
“Based on the groundswell of interest from fans looking to have an actual card of Jack for themselves, it became clear we had to do something more,” Carlin wrote.
So Upper Deck has been given approval to release a 5x7 version of Jack’s card. It will have his stats, information about his “Team Jack” charity — a nonprofit organization that specializes in pediatric brain cancer research — and his own life story, which is quite inspirational. Upper Deck will be donating all of the cards to Jack’s family to be used to help the charity.
Here’s the fun part. While the blurbs on the backs of cards are traditionally written by a copy editor on a card company’s staff, Carlin said the best person to write the information was Jack himself. So this past weekend, Jack sat down and wrote the copy for his first trading card.
“In my discussions with Jack’s father (Andy), I shared we could have one of our copy editors write the back of the card or possibly open it up to let fans write the copy, but it felt wrong,” Carlin wrote. “Who better to tell their story than the athlete himself?
“This is the first time to my knowledge Upper Deck has allowed an athlete to write the copy that would appear on the back of a trading card, and in this instance it feels right.”