BOSTON (AP) – Teddy Ballgame will soon be Teddy Blockchain.
Hall of Famer Ted Williams hits the market with a release of nine different digital memorabilia cards tracing the No. 9’s career from skinny rookie to Cooperstown contestant. The collectibles offered by Williams’ daughter are from Brazilian illustrator Andre Maciel, known as Black Madre, who created the non-fungible tokens for soccer star Rob Gronkowski, which sold out for $ 1.6 million last month.
“I wrote to him. I told him who I was. I said, ‘My dad is Ted Williams.’ I said, ‘Here’s what I want to do,’ “said Claudia Williams, adding that she didn’t know if Maciel would be familiar with the baseball star.
“As far as he knows, I’m just a person who says, ‘Hey, can you do some NFTs for me?'” She said. “Just the respect he showed art, I know he knows who Ted Williams is.”
Eight cards are available in limited editions from 1 to 9, the ninth titled “The Splendid Splinter” – a unique release featuring a signed bat, three signed images and an Airbnb stay at a house where Williams lived in Vermont . Each of the 73 cards contains the digital autograph of the Red Sox thug, who remains the last great leaguer to hit .400 and hit .406 in 1941.
The collection also recognizes Williams’ achievements as a fishing hall of fame and a fighter pilot who missed portions of five seasons to serve in World War II and the Korean War. Claudia Williams wrote the text on the back of each card.
The auction starts on Monday and lasts until Saturday.
“My goal in life is to keep my father as relevant and inspiring as ever,” said Claudia Williams in a phone interview from her Florida home last week. “I want to leave his legacy behind when his last surviving child is gone.”
Non-fungible tokens can be works of art, video clips, or even tweets or news articles tied to a digital record – or blockchain – that allows the collector to prove possession. The NBA got into NFTs by creating a market called Top Shot, which has more than 800,000 users and sales of at least $ 500 million.
Williams said if the auction is successful, she will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Jimmy Fund, a childhood cancer charity that has been a Red Sox favorite since her father’s game days.
“It’s all about inspiration and my father’s honor,” she said. “I am very much my father’s daughter: I don’t squat when I’m not feeling passionate.”
Williams played 19 years – all for the Red Sox – and missed the time on the two wars before retiring in 1960 at the age of 41 with an average of 0.344, 521 home runs and 1,839 RBIs. He was a 19-time All-Star, a two-time AL MVP and a two-time three-time crown winner.
Williams was also a notorious Curmudgeon who derided reporters as “Knights of the Keyboard” and refused to assign his hat to fans. But he was one of the few white players to vote for Negro Leagues players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Claudia Williams said her father may not have been an early adopter to NFTs, but he encouraged his children to stay on the cutting edge of technology. His book “The Science of Hitting” was ahead of its time. (Williams, who died in 2002, was frozen in liquid nitrogen in an Arizona cryonic facility in the hope that medical advances will one day enable him to bring him back to life.)
“Daddy was so up to date,” she said. “When he found out something new, he accepted. He might say,” … I don’t know the first thing about this NFT, but I think it’s great. ‘But he would learn and he would love it. “