Yes, the back is marked “SAMPLE” in large letters. So no one will mistake this for a non-promo card.
Look past that, though, and the differences between the sample and real cards are interesting:
- The card numbers differ 31 on the sample and 338 on the real card. Joseph’s uniform number was 31, so most likely that was just meant as a placeholder until the actual enumeration was determined.
- The biographical paragraph on the promo is different – and much longer – on the promo card. Perhaps the bio felt too “crowded,” as there’s about half as much text and more leading (space between lines) on the real card.
- Under the goalie illustration at the right, the captions differ.
- The promo card erroneously lists Joseph’s birthplace as Vaughn Township, Ontario. The real card correctly states Joseph’s birthplace as “Keswick, Ontario.”
- Some of the stats are also incorrect on the promo, listing Joseph’s games played, wins and losses as 9587, 9284 and 9216 respectively. Joseph’s actual stats in that category are 587, 284 and 216 – meaning an extra 9 was added to the front of each stat. Upper Deck probably did this on the promo to ensure that larger numbers did not look crowded.
Conclusion: I like that the promo card actually uses a different photograph, and isn’t just marked “SAMPLE.” And I love the design of the set, so having this card makes it feel a little more complete.