Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles may be out for the season, but there is one place you can find him — in Hallmark stores.
Charles is one of 11 sports figures featured in the Kansas City-based company’s Keepsake Ornaments collection for 2015. There are about 400 ornaments in the Keepsake line this year.
The Chiefs star, who suffered a season-ending injury earlier this month, is in good company this year with Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers, and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. Others on the roster include baseball legend Jackie Robinson and hockey star Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.
And then there’s former Chiefs and current Carolina Panthers defender Jared Allen — in a Chicago Bears uniform. Allen changed teams during the production process.
There is one very notable team not represented in the 2015 line — the Kansas City Royals.
“We work 18 months ahead of the Royals’ winning season, so our crystal ball was a little hazy,” said Charles Young, product development manager in Hallmark’s Keepsake line.
Charles and the other sports ornaments retail for $17.95. The ornaments are available in Hallmark retail stores and online.
So how did Charles make the cut?
“When we looked at our strategy, Kansas City was on the roster to be in the line,” Young said. “Jamaal Charles personified the spirit and ethics of the Chiefs — hard working.” Young said Charles’ off-the-field community activities also made him a good candidate.
Charles joins a number of other Chiefs who have been featured in the Keepsake Ornament line including Marcus Allen, Joe Montana and Tony Gonzalez. Montana has appeared twice; Allen appeared in both an Oakland Raiders and Chiefs uniform in the same year. Gonzalez also appeared in two different uniforms, that of the Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.
Work began on the Charles ornament and the other players 18 months ago. Young does a lot of his sculpting artwork using photographs of the player.
“We’ll get head shots and a lot of different photos of him at play, and we sort through them,” he said. “We watch footage on TV and get a feel for his style of play.” The final product even captured Charles’ signature hairstyle.
Charles has seen his ornament.
“He really likes it,” said Chiefs spokesman Brad Gee. No word, however, on whether the running back has purchased any of them.