Auction brings Hall of Famer Ted Williams into new crypto craze

BOSTON – Teddy Ballgame is about to become Teddy Blockchain.

Hall of Famer Ted Williams is coming to the digital memorabilia market with a release of nine different cards that trace No. 9’s career from skinny rookie to Cooperstown inductee. The collectibles offered by Williams’s daughter are hand-drawn by Brazilian illustrator Andre Maciel, known as Black Madre, who created the non-replaceable tokens for football star Rob Gronkowski that sold out for $ 1.6 million last month .

‘I wrote it. I told him who I was. I said, “My dad is Ted Williams.” I said, “This is 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 someone who gets in touch and says, ‘Hey, can you make me some NFTs?’” She said. “Just the respect he showed the art, I know he knows who Ted Williams is.”

There are eight cards in limited editions numbered 1-9, with the ninth – titled ‘The Splendid Splinter’ – a one-of-a-kind issue that comes with an autographed bat, three autographed photos, and an Airbnb stay in a house where Williams lived. in in Vermont. Each of the 73 cards features the digital signature of the Red Sox slugger, which remains the last major leader to hit .400 and hit .406 in 1941.

The collection also recognizes Williams’s achievements as a famer’s fishing hall and fighter pilot who missed parts of five seasons to serve in WWII and the Korean War. Claudia Williams wrote the text on the back of each card.

The auction starts Monday and runs through Saturday.

“My life goal is to keep my dad as relevant and inspiring as ever,” Claudia Williams said in a telephone interview from her Florida home last week. “I want to leave his legacy when his last surviving child is gone.”

Non-replaceable tokens can be artwork, video clips, or even tweets or news articles linked to a digital record – or blockchain – that allows the collector to prove ownership. The NBA got into NFTs by creating a market called Top Shot, which has more than 800,000 users and at least $ 500 million in sales.

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 favorite with the Red Sox since her father’s play days.

“It’s all about inspiration and honoring my father,” she said. “I am very much my father’s daughter: I don’t squat if I’m not passionate about it.”

Williams played for 19 years – all for the Red Sox – missing time for the two wars before retiring at the age of 41 in 1960 with an average of .344, 521 home runs and 1,839 RBI’s. He was 19-time All-Star, two-time AL MVP and two-time three-time crown winner.

Williams was also an infamous curmudgeon who mocked reporters as “Knights of the Keyboard” and refused to tip his cap to fans. But he was one of the few white players to advocate for Negro Leagues players to be included in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Claudia Williams said her father may not have been an early adopter of NFTs, but he encouraged his kids to keep up with the latest technology. His book “The Science of Hitting” was way ahead of its time. (Williams, who died in 2002, has been frozen in liquid nitrogen at a cryonics facility in Arizona in the hope that medical advancements will one day bring him back to life.)

“Dad was so about cutting edge,” she said. When he heard something new, he hugged it. He might say, “I don’t know about this NFT, but I love it.” But he would learn about it, and he would love it. “

Story by Jimmy Golen.

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