With all eyes on the baseball world during the 2021 MLB playoffs, I get asked more and more often, “What is the FTX patch that umpires wear?” “
Referees wear FTX patches as part of a sponsorship deal between Major League Baseball and FTX, a crypto derivatives exchange. Basically FTX is a company that helps people invest in cryptocurrencies and arbitrators are advertising their business with the patch.
So… yeah, it’s just an ad.
And this is the first time that the league has started to post ads to the uniforms of field staff beyond a temporary one to two game deal for baseball games played internationally. This is most likely a preview of things to come as it seems inevitable that MLB baseball players will one day soon wear advertisements on their jersey sleeves. Maybe as early as 2023? Sigh.
Regardless, Major League Baseball announced the deal, which also made FTX the official cryptocurrency partner of the league, in July 2021 during the time of this season’s All-Star Game in Denver. . The patches made their All-Star Game 21 debut, have been worn by referees since and are expected to continue to be worn until and throughout the 2022 season.
These new FTX patches are worn both on the front of the referee’s jersey and on their sleeves… just in case you missed it the first time around. An unfortunate side effect is that the sleeve patch replaced the series of square commemorative badges that umpires often wore that featured the initials of their deceased colleagues, Major League umpires who died in the past year. . This patch released two of those commemorative patches, a “DC” patch for Darryl Cousins and a “PS” for Paul Schrieber.