Good morning! Tom Brady is doing right by the fan who gave back his 600th touchdown pass for pennies on the dollar. Brady gave him:
Two season tickets for two years
Signed Brady and Mike Evans jerseys
In true 2021 fashion, Brady and his sponsor, crypto exchange FTX, also gave the guy a Bitcoin. It's worth $62,000 at the time of this writing but may be worth $30,000 or $90,000 when you read this in a few hours.
- Nathan & Blake
In today's Sprint:
🎾 Serena’s new record.
⚾️ A tale of two cities.
🏈 The darkhorse Heisman candidate you need to know about.
Trivia:Who did the Atlanta Braves play when they were last in the World Series?
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
📈 FaZe Clan, the popular e-sports franchise founded in 2010, is going public via SPAC at a $1 billion valuation. Yes, it’s the most 2021 headline you’ve ever read, but what FaZe has accomplished is incredible:
FaZe expects $50+ million revenue this year, has 85 full-time employees, and also runs a marketing / commerce business on top of the e-sports franchise.
Investors include Kyler Murray and Ben Simmons.
⚾️ Players and staff across the MLB are expecting a lockout beginning December 2, 2021, the day after the current bargaining agreement ends.
The MLB Players’ Association is trying to increase player league revenue, push back against "tanking,” and address service time manipulation by teams.
Negotiations have taken place since last spring (2020) but, like any group project, will go down to the deadline.
🎾 A Serena Williams autographed rookie card sold for $44,280, the most ever for a women’s sports card.
The auction shattered the previous record of $34,440, from the sale of a Mia Hamm rookie card.
The card will become part of a “GOAT” collection, where a collector purchases the cards of who they believe are each sport’s greatest player of all time.
🏀 Busy day in sports collectibles - A fan purchased a pair of game-worn Michael Jordan sneakers for $1.47 million, breaking the record for most expensive game-worn shoes.
Jordan wore the kicks during his fifth NBA game, signed them, and gave them to the ball boy, who later sold them.
Party Like It’s 1999
The Atlanta Braves shocked baseball, handily beating the heavily favored Dodgers to make the team’s first World Series since 1999.
Even more impressive? They’re doing it without Ronald Acuna Jr, their best player.
Matchup: Ahead of the Braves is an ever-present Houston Astros team that has made three of the last five World Series, winning one… depending on your view of trash can-gate.
Houston is red hot this postseason, averaging 6.7 runs per game and only allowing 1 run over their last 26 innings.
But Atlanta is no pushover. They’ve been on a tear since August 6th - when they claimed their first winning record of the season - winning 66% of their games.
Let’s look at the players to watch.
Eddie Rosario, Atlanta - Traded mid-season for cash considerations, Rosario batted .560 in the NLCS en route to the NLCS MVP.
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta - A Silver Slugger finalist, Freeman propelled the Braves to the NLCS with a beautiful 8th inning smash against the Brewers. If he can hit with power, Atlanta will be tough to stop.
Carlos Correa, Houston - Leading the Astros to five playoff berths in his six seasons, Correa is a key cog to his team’s success. But as an impending free agent, this season could be his last in Houston.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston - A little over a year removed from surgeries to both knees, Alvarez is coming off an impressive 12-for-23 ALCS.
Pitching depth, Both teams - Particularly at reliever, which playoff teams have relied on for a whopping 54% of postseason innings.
Betting odds: At the start of the playoffs, the Braves (+1100) were the least likely team remaining to win the World Series. They’re still underdogs, but not by quite as much.
Atlanta Braves (+130)
Houston Astros (-150)
Game 1: Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros - 8:09 ET on FOX
ML: HOU -190
AROUND THE LEAGUES
(4-2) New Orleans Saints13vs. (2-5) Seattle Seahawks 10