“I don’t know if it’s going to be the future, but that’s why I want to kind of, I guess, test the waters so to speak,” Alonso said. “I mean, for me … this is just something that I want to do for fun and also help others out, which I’m really excited about. It’s going to be interesting. … It’s kind of like a little test run.”
New York Mets superstar first baseman Pete Alonso is auctioning off the one-of-one digital collectible and donating the proceeds to charity, teaming up with More Than Baseball, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting minor leaguers who need financial support with housing, equipment and nutrition, and his own charity, Homers for Heroes, according to ESPN’s Joon Lee.
Additionally, Alonso is launching his own NFT (nonfungible token) on Tuesday on Blockparty.
“I was a minor leaguer. I know how hard it is on 12-hour bus trips,” Alonso said. “If you’re not on the 40-man roster or you’re just a regular minor leaguer without any big league team, you’re making around $2.85 an hour when it comes down to brass tacks. To be able to raise funds and help out guys that need it, that are extremely talented because there’s big league talent all throughout the minor leagues, I’m very thankful.”
An NFT is a unique proof of ownership over a digital product. For example, a piece of digital art, a digital coupon, a video clip that often comes in the form of a one-of-a-kind code that’s stored and protected through a digital wallet. The NBA has successfully used it with their online forum for trading virtual basketball cards called NBA Top Shot.
“It’s incredible because I know Pete did it himself. He went through the minor leagues,” Mets minor leaguer Tommy Wilson, who designed the art for the NFT, said. “I’m doing it myself at the moment. We both kind of know the struggle and the grind that it is to get through the minor leagues and to stay focused. There’s a lot of different things you have to deal with. I’m super stoked to be able to give to More Than Baseball and hopefully help out some minor leaguers that need it.”
“There’s guys on my team were like, they’re going on eBay to buy their cleats,” Alonso said. “They’re grinding, trying to figure out how they’re going to get their next shipment of bats. Because if you’re not a prospect or drafted very high, it takes like six to eight weeks to get your wood in. And then you could be, you can either not have bags, not have proper equipment.”
Alonso hasn’t decided if the current NFT project will be a one-off, or branch into something bigger.