The New York Sports Hall of Fame relaunched today with a slate of digital firsts, including bidding on a non-fungible token (NFT) of the speech regarded as the most famous in sports history.
The historic 1-of-1 NFT of uncut extant film of the iconic 1939 “Luckiest Man” address by New York Yankees captain Lou Gehrig is open for bidding at opensea.io/collection/gehrig. The film is the longest single-source recording of the speech and the first known Gehrig speech NFT.
Delivered at Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium, the speech is part of a New York Sports Hall of Fame collection that includes filmed remarks at the same ceremony by baseball legend Babe Ruth and Yankees manager Joe McCarthy. The three men were inducted into the Hall between 1989 and 1991.
After a long hiatus, the New York Sports Hall of Fame relaunched today in digital form at newyorksportshall.com and on the prominent NFT marketplace OpenSea at opensea.io/nys. Later this year, the Hall plans to release digital commemoratives of more of its 310 inductees to date and to open balloting for its next member class.
The New York Sports Hall of Fame’s extensive collection of original Greater New York historical content is preserved from more than 150 years of various sports developments, from Major League Baseball to six-day bicycle racing. The Hall archives illustrate how the history of Greater New York sports has helped shape culture and society in the region and beyond.
Gehrig was voted into the New York Sports Hall of Fame twice, in 1989 for professional baseball and two years later for college baseball. The former Columbia University star and record-setting Yankees first baseman was born, raised and educated in New York City.
Well known for its line, "the luckiest man on the face of the earth," Gehrig's speech was delivered on July 4, 1939. At the time, Gehrig was dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, the rare and incurable disease that became known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day NFT collection on OpenSea accepts the popular cryptocurrency Ethereum, which can be purchased on the exchange Coinbase and used on OpenSea with the digital wallet MetaMask.
Launched 32 years ago, the New York Sports Hall of Fame is owned and operated by the streaming service New York Sports Experience (newyorkse.com).
“From its start, the New York Sports Hall of Fame has been dedicated to the preservation and commemoration of the rich history of Greater New York sports,” said Jordan Sprechman, New York Sports Experience’s founder and an original New York Sports Hall of Fame officer. “Today’s digital expansion reflects that mission.”
Purchased by cryptocurrency, NFTs are a type of digital asset for which transaction details including ownership are recorded on a public ledger known as a blockchain. Each NFT is unique intellectual property and can be viewed as a collectible that cannot be duplicated, making it singular and potentially valuable. More information about the New York Sports Hall of Fame NFTs appears at newyorksportshall.com.
About the New York Sports Hall of Fame
The New York Sports Hall of Fame was founded by acclaimed sportswriter and author Bill Shannon in 1989 and has 310 members. The entity is owned and operated by New York Sports Experience, which announced in 2020 that it would prioritize digital commemoration of its New York Sports Hall of Fame members and Greater New York sports history.