MLB announces Lou Gehrig NFT in conjunction with new partnership

·2-min read

The NBA and NFL already did it, so you knew MLB wouldn't be far behind. Baseball is getting into the non fungible token (NFT) game, and is kicking off a new partnership with a Lou Gehrig NFT, the league announced Tuesday.

MLB has partnered with Candy to build the league's official "NFT ecosystem." While it sounds like additional NFTs will be released in the future, MLB's first NFT will focus on Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech. The NFT will be released over the July 4 weekend. Proceeds will go to ALS charities. The Gehrig NFT will be a 1-of-1, so it should go for a hefty price. 

Commissioner Rob Manfred sees the partnership as a natural fit considering how much baseball fans have embraced collectibles in the past. 

“From trading cards to autographed balls, baseball fans have demonstrated their passion for the sport and its players through collectibles for decades,” Manfred said.

What are NFTs and what does this mean for MLB?

If all of this sounds incomprehensible to you, that's OK. We're here to explain. The term NFT is short for non-fungible token. That's not a helpful description, but this explainer from The Verge does a great job digging in to specifics if you want to learn about cryptocurrency and the blockchain.

In this instance, think of the Gehrig NFT as a one-of-a-kind digital trading card. Whoever purchases that card, owns that moment. That doesn't mean that person owns the video of Gehrig making his "Luckiest Man" speech. That person merely owns the digital card of that moment. If you think about actual trading cards, having a card of Derek Jeter making a diving play doesn't mean you own the footage of that play. You only own the card that features that moment. 

For MLB, the partnership means the league sees another opportunity to make a quick buck. NFT prices are out of control at the moment. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski sold his first collection of NFTs for $1.2 million

If MLB can make similar money, expect them to continue to push NFTs. Given how many moments the league can make into NFTs, MLB could make boatloads of money as long as NFTs remain popular. 

More from Yahoo Sports: