The Topps Company announced Monday it's set to launch its first baseball NFT collection—the 2021 Topps Series 1 Baseball NFT—in coordination with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.
Topps noted the collection, which is scheduled to debut April 20 at 1 p.m. ET, will include "iconic throwback card templates, anniversary sets and more."
Tobin Lent, the company's vice president and general manager of digital sports and entertainment, called it a "historic moment in the modern evolution of collecting":
"The partnership between Major League Baseball, MLB Players Inc. and Topps has delighted collectors and fans for generations, celebrating the legendary players and iconic moments that have defined America's Pastime. 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 and provide another fun avenue for fans to collect their favorite heroes and moments with secure digital ownership on the blockchain."
Much like NBA Top Shot, which helped sparked the NFT craze, and other high-profile collections, Topps' MLB set will feature both standard and premium packs with a chance to secure digital cards that have different rarities, ranging from common to legendary.
The top target will be the special legendary limited-edition 1-of-1 platinum anniversary cards.
MLB Players Inc. managing director Evan Kaplan noted the collection will showcase both legends of yesteryear and current players:
"As collectibles enjoy a breakout moment with NFTs and blockchain technology, we can't think of a better way to honor the legendary players from years past and look forward to the incredible careers ahead of today's stars and breakout rookies. These Topps cards offer a new innovative way for today's collectors and fans to connect with their favorite stars."
NFTs, which stand for non-fungible tokens, have become a smash-hit collector's item during the early portion of 2021. It's an offshoot of the sports memorabilia boom that's occurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as more people jumped into the hobby.
While it can be viewed as a fun way to build a new collection, others have treated NFTs as coveted investment items, some of which have soared into the millions of dollars.