Major League Baseball will partner with a new company, Candy Digital, to enter the world of NFTs.
Candy Digital is being launched by executive chairman of Fanatics and part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, Michael Rubin; founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz; and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. The next generation digital collectible company agreed with MLB to a multi-year licensing to produce non-fungible tokens, otherwise known as NFTs.
On July 4, 2021, the first release will include Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of when the New York Yankees legend retired from baseball after being diagnosed with ALS.
The announcement comes just before MLB’s first official Lou Gehrig Day, taking place on June 2, and proceeds from the sale of the NFT will support ALS charities.
MLB chose to hold Lou Gehrig Day on June 2 to mark the anniversary of when Gehrig started his record streak of 2,130 consecutive games played in 1925. June 2 is also the day that Gehrig died of ALS at age 37 in 1941.
“From trading cards to autographed balls, baseball fans have demonstrated their passion for the sport and its players through collectibles for decades,” explained MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. “In working with Candy Digital to offer NFTs to MLB fans, we’re delivering an exciting new addition to the robust baseball collectible market. The founders of Candy are a dynamic group of executives with an impressive track record. We’re excited to be the first partner in this new venture with a team uniquely positioned for success.”
As Manfred said, baseball fans crave memorabilia, so the demand for collectibles -- even digital -- is high. Could we see NFTs in the future to commemorate any of this season's no-hitters, or even viral plays like Javy Báez's recent baserunning?