‘No Two Are Exactly the Same’: The way the Heisman Trophy Is Made

Hot wax is poured into the molds – one a sturdy, plastic mother mold and the next, inside that, a silicone mold that’s sensitive enough to get the contours of the figure’s nose, the parallel lines about his helmet and the pebbly base. The mold is certainly hardened to generate a cast. Flaws in the cast – for example, seam lines where the molds came mutually – are eliminated with a heated metallic implement.

The wax cast is then dipped in what is known as investment, a sort of liquid ceramic, which hardens and, crucially, is heat resistant. This is then heated, melting the wax, which escapes out a hole in underneath of 1 of the player’s feet. The hole isn’t visible once the trophy is mounted on its base.


The empty cast made of heat-resistant investment is next delivered to a foundry, where molten bronze – hotter than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – is poured inside it. A sufficient amount of bronze to assume the form of the mold is used, however, not so much concerning fill it entirely: If the mainly hollow Heisman were essentially a dense hunk of bronze, it would weigh a lot more than 200 pounds. (The finished version handed to winners is approximately 35 pounds; roughly dual that using its base.)

The object is then returned to MTM Acknowledgement, where the now-brittle investment is hammered off the ashy bronze. The bronze is certainly cared for with acid and fire to provide it the familiar patina that means it is look as if it is a few years or centuries aged. Invariably, nevertheless, each one’s patina comes out slightly different, which is part of why is each one singular.

Not only is this year’s Heisman slightly not the same as last year’s, it is more not the same as those of a technology ago.

MTM Recognition, which took over the trophy’s production more than a 10 years ago through a partnership with the memorabilia giant Jostens, effectively redesigned it, if in an exceedingly small way.


Before 2005, the back shoe had bumps onto it to depict laces as the front shoe did not. Nortz added some grooves to the top of the right foot.

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“I got to sculpt it!” Nortz explained.

MTM Recognition as well standardized the trophy’s sizes after staff members pointed out that former trophies’ outstretched right arms departed the body at distinct angles. That arm is definitely cast separately from the body.

“They did research,” Cory Beltz, MTM Recognition’s director of sports activities business creation, said. “In the 1960s, the arm was pointing one way. In the ’70s, another way. We explained, ‘Let’s lock that in.’ ”

The solution was to carve a square hole inside stub of the arm where it meets the torso, and a square peg on the finish of the arm where it fits into the hole. Because of this, every right arm of every Heisman Trophy nowadays extends at the same position.


Beyond that alteration, the trophies MTM Recognition produces are faithful reproductions of the main one first designed for and awarded by the Downtown Athletic Club in 1935. Actually, the mother mold, made of polyurethane, was made straight from a vintage Heisman that the Heisman Trophy Trust, which administers the trophy, delivered to the company after Jostens got the account.

“They need that antique look,” Beltz said.

MTM Acknowledgement mounts the bronze on a real wood base and produces a nameplate for every finalist in the week leading up to the announcement. Everything is certainly shipped to New York for the Saturday night time ceremony.

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The trophy the winner lifts bears a generic nameplate. Following the ceremony, according to a Heisman Trophy Trust spokesman, the trophy and the champion are hustled next door, where the official nameplate is certainly attached with four screws in time for the player’s information conference. (Groups receive their unique Heismans when their players win.)

The trophies are sent home with the player in a container made by Cabbage Cases. The business, located in Columbus, Ohio, fashioned its 1st Heisman receptacle when the Columbus indigenous Archie Griffin – a former Ohio State working back and the just two-time Heisman champion – drove up one day more than 25 years back and asked if the company could make him one, according to Mike Hannah, the product sales manager. The Heisman Trophy Trust owns these containers, and politely asks that players and schools return them; they may order their unique from Cabbage Cases, which Hannah explained will gladly paint the new one in the staff colors.

Should a trophy get damaged or looking for refurbishing, players (or their teams) may send them back again to Del Metropolis for a literal buffing. Regarding to Jay Manning, a metallic fabricator at MTM Acknowledgement who handles maintenance, the right index finger is the mostly damaged appendage.

Manning, a past jeweler, recently worked on the Heisman that Billy Cannon won in 1959 as a good senior at Louisiana Talk about. He may have touched even more Heisman Trophies than anyone else.

“Sometimes We get frustrated,” he said, “that persons don’t get as big a kick from it as I do.”

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