The San Jose Sharks provided hockey fans with one of the most memorable moments of the season when they signed super fan, Sam Tageson, to a one-day deal with the team. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area and the Sharks Foundation worked in unison to make this dream come true for the 17-year-old, who suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome and was told he should never ride a bike, let alone play hockey.
Back in March, Sam joined the team and skated out of the Shark Head onto the ice before a game while fans roared, an honor that until now has been reserved only for Sharks players. Sam was announced along with the rest of the team roster and his larger than life head shot was shown on the Jumbotron.
It was a memorable night that received extensive coverage in Bay Area media.
Sharks defenseman Jason Demers and radio play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky showed up at the unveiling and were first in line to have Sam sign his new cards.
The event provided Sam with the opportunity to give back to the charities that made his night on the ice possible. Sam signed items for fans, with all the proceeds going to Make-A-Wish and the Sharks Foundation. Upper Deck says several thousand dollars were raised at the event and with more coming in as fans donate to these organizations in order to obtain one of Tageson’s Upper Deck “rookie” cards.
Upper Deck will be inserting a limited amount of Sam’s Upper Deck rookie cards in the company’s 2014-15 NHL MVP set which is scheduled to release in early August.
“This whole experience feels like a dream I don’t want to wake up from,” said Sam Tageson. “To arrive and see over a hundred people waiting in line for my autograph was an unbelievable feeling. And now knowing people will be able to actually find my rookie card in regular packs of Upper Deck hockey cards is an incredible thrill.”
“Sam’s story was a natural fit for Upper Deck’s ‘Heroic Inspirations’ campaign,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck. “We are happy to help shine a light on Sam’s story while providing fans with a very special collectible commemorating this incredible hockey moment.”