Ohtani-san’s latest big fly is of the non-fungible variety. (John McCoy/Getty Images)
NFT TRADING CARDS & COLLECTIBLES

Shohei Ohtani Makes NFT History

A 1-of-1 Ohtani Icon NFT sold for $100,000 on at Candy Digital’s official marketplace, making it the most expensive baseball NFT of all time.

Candy Marketplace, the official home for MLB-licensed NFT collectibles, just consummated the biggest sale of a digital baseball collectible in history. A 1-of-1 Legendary Shohei Ohtani Icon sold for $100,000, breaking the six-figure sale price barrier for MLB NFTs for the very first time.

That’s some pretty expensive Candy.

If there were any doubts about the continued market viability of sports-related non-fungible tokens — or the ongoing global fascination with the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar and 2021 AL MVP — this transaction ultimately silences them.

We’ve seen the boom of sports-related NFTs in the past year, with platforms like NBA Top Shot and Sorare setting the early pace. Candy Digital followed last summer, an ambitious venture started by Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, Mike Novogratz, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Back in October 2021, Candy Digital closed a $100 million Series A funding round, which led to a company valuation of $1.5 Billion.

Candy Marketplace has since branched out into NIL partnerships with college athletes, minting NFTs for top stars across NCAA football and basketball. But nothing from the amateur ranks can compete with Ohtani’s new milestone.

Ohtani took the league by storm in 2021 when he pitched to a 9-2 record while swatting 46 home runs and leading the MLB in triples, earning MVP honors in runaway fashion. Naturally, he was a collectibles phenom long before he made his NFT debut — in the trading card hobby, we saw his Bowman Chrome (Batting) PSA 10 skyrocket from a market value of $90 in February 2021 to $600 in the current market.

It’s no surprise, then, that a 1-of-1 NFT featuring the Japanese icon was the first to fetch six figures at Candy Marketplace. And given that digital baseball collectibles are still in a relatively early phase of development, there’ absolutely room to grow.

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