Willie Mays joins NFT craze to support youth baseball

Willie Mays’ greatness as a ballplayer may transcend time, but he proved to be a man of the times when the Baseball Hall of Famer and former Giants outfielder joined the newest memorabilia craze with the announcement that, in partnership with the Costacos Collection, a Willie Mays non-fungible token (or NFT) will be placed for auction Sunday on the Nifty Gateway marketplace.

Motivated by the example of those who helped him as a youngster growing up in Alabama, Mays has committed to donate all proceeds from the sale to his Say Hey Foundation, to support baseball academies for underprivileged youth in that state.

The money raised also will be used by the foundation to help with the restoration of Rickwood Field, former home to the Birmingham (Ala.) Black Barons of the Negro Leagues, for its use as a field for local youth teams. Rickwood was Mays’ first home ballpark as a pro, when he was playing for the Black Barons (1948-50) before starting his MLB career with the New York Giants in 1951.

“I’ve never forgotten the people who supported me, taught me, and helped me find my way,” Mays said in a news release. “I want every child to have the same chances that I had, and this gives me a way to do that starting in my original hometown. Rickwood was the first place I ever got to see professional ballplayers, and I want these kids to learn the game and be inspired the way I was.”

The Mays NFT — named “The Making of a Giant” — documents physical items and images associated with Mays’ past, including his diploma and a report card from Fairfield Industrial High School. Also there are copies of a scouting report and his first contract with the Black Barons — paying him $250 per month, a telegram informing him of his contract being purchased by the Giants and a contemporary news article comparing Mays’ upside to that of Yankees center field great Joe DiMaggio that features narration by sports commentator Bob Costas.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *