Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 21 seconds
If you can’t tell, I love baseball. My childhood was spent watching my favorite baseball players. As a young player, I wanted to be those superstars. But like all kids, I had to settle for little league and card collecting. Well thanks to Major League Baseball, Lucid, and the Ethereum blockchain, we might be advancing into the next generation of baseball collectibles.
When you hear about baseball collectibles, baseball cards are probably the first thing to come to mind. Baseball has quite a history, and baseball cards were there the whole way. From the practically priceless Honus Wagner, to cards of today’s superstars, baseball cards are ingrained in the history of baseball. You used to get them in packages of gum and cigarettes. They contributed significantly to the game by giving consumers another way to live baseball.
But an interesting thing has happened over the past couple of decades. Card collecting has declined. Now this is likely due to various reasons, but one of the main ones has been a transition from a physical to a digital world. There have been a few experiments to add digital aspects to cards, but baseball has yet to adapt to collectibles in the purely digital world.
Major League Baseball collectibles adopting blockchain tech
So Major League Baseball is adapting. They are pairing up with Lucid to use the Ethereum network to put player collectibles on the blockchain. The collectibles will be in the form of ERC 721 tokens, which are non-fungible and completely unique. So your version of the collectible can be identified as yours, providing you with true ownership over the digital asset.
Baseball has come under recent criticism based off of a perceived reduction in popularity. Ticket sales are solid, but recent surveys suggest that the average fan of Major League Baseball is around 48 years old. That is not a number you want to see if you’re into Major League Baseball. Young viewership is down, with many young people stating that baseball is “slow moving” and “boring”. Even as a fan of the game, I think there is way too much down time when nothing is happening. I get that criticism, and so does the MLB. They are exploring ways to speed up the game and reach younger fans. And these baseball collectibles might be a great way to introduce baseball to a younger, more tech savvy audience.
Baseball has been around forever, and they have had to constantly adapt. They haven’t always been the most proactive. The last stadium to get lights for night games was Wrigley Field in 1988. It’s exciting to see an organization that has resisted change in order to maintain the purity of the game be so proactive towards a new technology.
Only the future will tell…
This isn’t Major League Baseball’s entrance to the blockchain space. The MLB had previously explored accepting payment for ticket purchases and other services in cryptocurrency. Although they ultimately decided against it, citing that accepting the speculative asset wouldn’t do much to further their primary goal of making ticket sales more accessible. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that change in the next couple of years.
Collecting cards is fun for a lot of young fans, and I think that popularity will transfer over to digital collectibles.
Interested in other crypto-collectibles? Check out three more here.
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