Long Beach (CoinChapter): On Monday, The Topps Company announced it will release its 2021 flagship baseball card selection as NFTs in partnership with Major League Baseball and MLB Players, Inc. This is the first time a Topps baseball card set will be will be on a blockchain. Panini has previously launched blockchain-based cards, but they do not have a licensing deal with Major League Baseball.
The NFT series will launch on the WAX blockchain on April 20 at 1pm ET. Topps has used the WAX blockchain to host all of its NFT collections so far.
Tobin Lent, VP & General Manager of Topps Digital Sports & Entertainment, expressed the historical significance of this announcement. “Our MLB blockchain NFT series debut marks a historic moment in the modern evolution of collecting for both traditional and new collectors.”
“We’re excited to bring almost a decade’s worth of digital collectibles innovations to 2021 Topps Series 1,” Lent added. “And provide another fun avenue for fans to collect their favorite heroes and moments with secure digital ownership on the blockchain.”
Topps Series 1 Baseball NFT
The Topps Series 1 Baseball NFT will include standard and premium collectible packs. Card rarities range from Common to Legendary, and include Legendary Limited-Edition 1-of-1 Platinum Anniversary cards. Additionally, there will be different types of NFT collectibles within the release as well. This includes motion graphics, nostalgic card templates and other digital flourishes.
It was also announced that the first 10,000 people who sign up to receive email alerts for Topps Series 1 are eligible to receive a free, exclusive Topps MLB Opening Day NFT Pack.
Managing Director of MLB Players, Inc. Evan Kaplan believes these NFTs are a great way for fans and players to come together. “These Topps cards offer a new innovative way for today’s collectors and fans to connect with their favorite stars.”
Not the first time MLB has tried to enter the NFT space
This is not the first time Major League Baseball tried to enter the NFT world. In 2018 MLB partnered with LucidSight to launch MLB Crypto Baseball. These cartoon bobbleheads were traded via the Ethereum blockchain, but did not catch on the mainstream world.
But NFTs have exploded since then with Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot leading the way. The question moving forward for MLB now is whether they were before their time in their first swing, or if baseball fans simply don’t have the same enthusiasm for NFTs as a whole.