‘No Two Are Exactly the Same’: How the Heisman Trophy will be Made

Hot wax will be poured into the molds — one a sturdy, plastic mother mold in addition to the second, inside in which, a silicone mold in which will be sensitive enough to pick up the contours of the figure’s nose, the parallel lines on his helmet in addition to the pebbly base. The mold will be hardened to make a cast. Flaws inside the cast — for instance, seam lines where the molds came together — are removed having a heated metal implement.

The wax cast will be then dipped in what will be known as investment, a kind of liquid ceramic, which hardens in addition to, crucially, will be heat resistant. in which will be then heated, melting the wax, which escapes out a hole inside the bottom of one of the player’s feet. The hole will be not visible once the trophy will be mounted on its base.


A Heisman Trophy, fresh through the foundry in addition to still enrobed in its ceramic shell.

Sarah Phipps for The fresh York Times

The empty cast made of heat-resistant investment will be next sent to a foundry, where molten bronze — hotter than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit — will be poured inside in which. Enough bronze to assume the shape of the mold will be used, however not so much as to fill in which entirely: If the largely hollow Heisman were actually a dense hunk of bronze, in which would likely weigh more than 0 pounds. (The finished type handed to winners will be about 35 pounds; roughly double in which with its base.)

The object will be then returned to MTM Recognition, where the right now-brittle investment will be hammered off the ashy bronze. The bronze will be treated with acid in addition to fire to give in which the familiar patina in which makes in which look as if in which will be a few decades or centuries old. Invariably, however, each one’s patina comes out slightly different, which will be part of what makes each one singular.

Not only will be in which year’s Heisman slightly different through last year’s, in which will be more different through those of a generation ago.

MTM Recognition, which took over the trophy’s production more than a decade ago through a partnership with the memorabilia giant Jostens, effectively redesigned in which, if in a very little way.


MTM makes nameplates for all the finalists before the Heisman Trophy will be shipped to fresh York. The winner will be awarded a trophy having a generic nameplate in which will be quickly replaced after the televised ceremony.

Sarah Phipps for The fresh York Times

Before 2005, the back shoe had bumps on in which to depict laces while the front shoe did not. Nortz added some grooves to the top of the right foot.

“I got to sculpt in which!” Nortz said.

MTM Recognition also standardized the trophy’s dimensions after staff members noticed in which past trophies’ outstretched right arms departed the body at different angles. in which arm has always been cast separately through the body.

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

The solution was to carve a square hole inside the stub of the arm where in which meets the torso, in addition to a square peg on the end of the arm where in which fits into the hole. As a result, every right arm of every Heisman Trophy right now extends at the same angle.


A view of the Heisman Trophy during a news conference before the 2016 presentation in fresh York.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Beyond in which alteration, the trophies MTM Recognition makes are faithful reproductions of the one first designed for in addition to awarded by the Downtown Athletic Club in 1935. In fact, the mother mold, made of polyurethane, was made directly through an old Heisman in which the Heisman Trophy Trust, which administers the trophy, sent to the company after Jostens got the account.

“They want in which antique look,” Beltz said.

MTM Recognition mounts the bronze on a wood base in addition to makes a nameplate for each finalist inside the week leading up to the announcement. Everything will be shipped to fresh York for the Saturday night ceremony.

The trophy the winner lifts bears a generic nameplate. After the ceremony, according to a Heisman Trophy Trust spokesman, the trophy in addition to the winner are hustled across the street, where the official nameplate will be attached with four screws in time for the player’s news conference. (Teams receive their own Heismans when their players win.)

The trophies are sent home with the player in a container made by Cabbage Cases. The company, based in Columbus, Ohio, fashioned its first Heisman receptacle when the Columbus native Archie Griffin — a former Ohio State running back in addition to the only two-time Heisman winner — drove up one day more than 25 years ago in addition to asked if the company could make him one, according to Mike Hannah, the sales manager. The Heisman Trophy Trust owns these containers, in addition to politely asks in which players in addition to colleges return them; they may order their own through Cabbage Cases, which Hannah said will gladly paint the fresh one inside the team colors.

Should a trophy be damaged or in need of refurbishing, players (or their teams) can send them back to Del City for a literal buffing. According to Jay Manning, a metal fabricator at MTM Recognition who handles repairs, the right index finger will be the most commonly damaged appendage.

Manning, a former jeweler, recently worked on the Heisman in which Billy Cannon won in 1959 as a senior at Louisiana State. He may have touched more Heisman Trophies than anyone else.

“Sometimes I get frustrated,” he said, “in which people don’t get as big a kick out of in which as I do.”

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