MLB inked a long-term deal with Candy Digital to launch NFTs using the league’s assets. The first NFT Release is a 1/1 offering based on Hall of Fame player Lou Gehrig’s iconic ‘Luckiest Man” speech. Gehrig announced his retirement in front of 62,000 fans due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Candy Digital is a new collectibles firm led by established leaders across sports, blockchain and business worlds. Michael Rubin and Mike Novogratz will serve as co-chairman. Rubin is the executive chairman of sports merchandise and memorabilia firm, Fanatics. Novogratz is the CEO of blockchain financial services firm, Galaxy Digital. Serial entrepreneur and sports memorabilia collector Gary Vaynerchuk will serve as a board member. He will also be a consultant, using his experience from launching his own NFT Collection
MLB’s NFT Platform
MLB’s NFT Marketplace will run on a layer-2 scaling solution like Polygon and Immutable X. These blockchains utilize proof-of-stake instead of proof-of-work like Ethereum. As a benefit to the user, the gas fees are lower, transactions are faster and overall eco-friendly as it uses 99% less energy than Ethereum.
The NFT will be auctioned off on July 4 holiday weekend. Part of the proceeds will be donated to ALS-related charities.
MLB’s maiden NFT attempt was the partnership with trading card giant Topps and Wax Blockchain to release MLB Trading Cards. Apart from MLB, there’s also a lot of excitement on the player level. Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is also launching an NFT platform called Autograph
Why is Lou Gehrig the luckiest man on Earth?
The subject of the first NFT Drop is Lou Gehrig or the “Iron Horse” who is best known for his 2130 consecutive-game streak. He had been the New York Yankee’s regular first baseman for 14 years and voted Most Valuable Player twice. He held the record for career grand slams until 2013 and won the Triple Crown in 1934, one of the rarest feats in baseball.
Despite being a Hall of Famer, Gehrig kept himself away from the limelight. A feat he easily achieved because of controversial teammates like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.
On July 4, 1939, he stood on the field at Yankee Stadium to deliver a shocking retirement speech. True to character, he was reluctant to give a speech and only gave in after the fans chanted “We want Lou, We Want Lou”.
“For the past two weeks, you have been reading about a bad break,” Gehrig told the crowd.”(Yet) today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”
To this day, Gehrig’s speech is regarded as one of the most famous speeches in sports history. Gehrig — a dying man — told the crowd he was the luckiest man on earth. He went on to express gratitude towards the good people in his life like his wife, family, teammates and the Yankees administration.
Whoever wins the bid truly is a LUCKY man.