Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mandi Gets A Hockey Card

As collectors studied the 2013-14
NHL(r) Upper Deck Series One checklist they saw the name of a hockey
player that never played one game in the NHL(r). Upper Deck staff had
been working closely with the family of Mandi Schwartz and the Yale
Athletic Department to create a unique collectible as a way of honoring
the former Yale Hockey star while also creating awareness for her
charitable organization the Mandi Schwartz Foundation (
). Schwartz will appear in the game-worn
jersey and game-worn patch sets for the company's flagship release which
is available in stores now.

"Mandi's name kept coming up as we talked internally about finding an
inspirational hockey athlete to honor with a trading card," said Chris
Carlin, Upper Deck's sports marketing manager. "Mandi Schwartz is
certainly not the prototypical hockey player that appears on Upper
Deck's hockey cards, but that's what makes her inclusion in a mainstream
set like this so great because she is so different. As we found out more
and more about Mandi's story, everyone in the building began to draw
inspiration from her and we became very excited about this project. A
player like Mandi deserves a trading card and the one we created is very

What makes these cards so special of course is that they contain actual
swatches from one of Mandi Schwartz's game-worn jerseys. Mandi's parents
donated the blue Yale jersey to help bring these unique collectibles to
life. Upper Deck intentionally short printed the game-worn jersey cards
available in packs however and is making the lion's share of them
available to be sold through The Mandi Schwartz Foundation. The
game-patch cards can only be found in packs and are limited to just 15
total copies.

"It certainly means the world to us that Mandi's legacy will be carried
on by Upper Deck creating this special card," said Carol Schwartz,
Mandi's mother. "Mandi has always been a tremendous example of
commitment and dedication for student athletes, especially for those who
play hockey. I can think of no more fitting tribute to her than that of
sharing her passion for hockey and life with her very own Upper Deck
card. It is our hope the card will inspire people from all walks of life
to learn about her story - the story of a good hearted, generous and
hardworking girl from Saskatchewan who remained incredibly positive
throughout her battle with cancer (acute myeloid leukemia). She inspired
her own little army of all that knew her to help raise awareness of the
world need for marrow donors, cord blood donors and blood donations."

"Mandi was a hockey player and a motivational teammate, but more than
that, she was an exceptional person," said Aleca Hughes, former teammate
and co-founder of the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. "Her character was
fundamentally kind and compassionate, and for that reason, Mandi's story
has transcended beyond the hockey community and those who had the
pleasure of knowing her. Mandi's legacy continues to inspire humanity
and we hope her Upper Deck card will remind athletes and sports fans the
responsibility we all have to give back."

Mandi was initially diagnosed with cancer in December 2008, during her
junior year at Yale. After treatment put her in remission, she returned
to school in January of 2010 and was planning to play hockey again, but
relapsed. She passed away at home in Saskatchewan in April of 2011 at
the age of 23.

"Mandi Schwartz has remained an important part of the Yale family and
the source of continued inspiration for the Yale Bulldogs women's hockey
team," said Sam Rubin, Assistant Director of Yale Sports Publicity.
"Each year Yale runs a Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive in
the spring to add potential donors to the Be The Match(r) Registry
. Yale continues to host an annual 'White Out'
game where we encourage fans wearing white to pack Ingalls Rink to show
support for Mandi. It is a fundraiser and this year it will take place
on Friday, January 24. Donations to the foundation will be accepted at
the door. I'm sure the foundation will also be selling these special
cards at the event."

The Mandi Schwartz Foundation will be releasing details on how fans can
purchase these limited-edition collectibles in the coming weeks. In the
meantime, Upper Deck encourages everyone to check out the official Mandi
Schwartz Foundation website , to follow the
Mandi Schwartz Foundation on Twitter
and to like the Mandi Schwartz Foundation Facebook page
. Together we hope we can help save lives by creating awareness
for Mandi's cause and the need for donors throughout the world.

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