A renaissance is happening in the world of sports collectibles. Over the past year, sports cards have seen a rapid rise in demand and value. Now with the rapid rise of nonfungible tokens, better known as NFTs, sports memorabilia is making its way into the digital age… and athletes are cashing in.
Mets’ Pitcher Taijuan Walker made history this week, becoming the first active MLB player to create and sell their own NFT. The collectible features a colorful photograph of the pitcher along with his autograph and digital effects. It sold for a final price of 2.34 Ether (roughly $4,274). The proceeds will benefit the Amazin’ Mets Foundation, the Mets’ charity organization.
“For it to sell like that, it was really cool and definitely a blessing,” Walker said in an interview with the New York Times.
The MLB star’s historic sale comes as both athletes and leagues are jumping into the new digital collectible space. Last week, Patrick Mahomes made $3.7 million from his first NFT release. The NBA launched their own NFT marketplace called Top Shot last October. But until the MLB releases an NFT platform, it will remain up to the players to meet the demands of the market. At least for now, Taijuan Walker is the undisputed leader in a new stat: NFT releases. We’ll see how long that lasts.