Posted at 8:29 PM on February 11, 2008
by Chris Dall
Leave it to our good friends at Major League Baseball to put the kibosh on anyone besides the owners making money off the game.
A few weeks ago Slate Magazine ran an interesting article on minor league pitcher Randy Newsom, who's selling shares of his future earnings at $20 a share, through a company called Real Sports Investment, LLC. It's kind of like a microloan, if you think of giving money to a college graduate toiling in minor league obscurity as paying it forward. And as an investment idea, it's probably somewhere between putting money into a mutual fund and getting involved in house flipping. Sure, if you could have snapped up some shares of Michael Cuddyer a few years ago you might be feeling pretty good right now, but like Randy Newsom, most players who would take part in this are probably only going to be up in the majors for a cup of coffee.
If you're intrigued by the idea, well, it might be too late. Head on over to the Real Sports Investment Web site and you'll find that shares pitcher Randy Newsom are no longer available. Why?
In order to create a system that will allow players and fans the best experience possible we believe it is in everybody’s best interest to work with Major League Baseball. We have been in contact with them and in the coming months we will be working with Major League Baseball to make sure that RSI addresses all the needs of the larger baseball community especially fans and players.
Reading between the lines, I think what this says is that MLB shut them down because they didn't approve of what they were doing. And as Slate writer Josh Levin points, the company also missed the minor detail of registering their offerings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
I hope the folks at Real Sports Investment are able to work something out. Wise investment or not, being able to invest in players might be a way for the fans to reconnect with the increasingly distant millionaries who roam the diamond.