Up until a few weeks ago, Tyler Adkison was a 22-year-old minor league baseball player in the Los Angeles Dodgers system. He’s a product of San Diego State, and he’s been coached by legendary hitter Tony Gwynn. But he decided to cut his baseball career short to merge his two passions: baseball and technology.
J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register interviewed Adkison about what he’s doing now, and it’s very interesting. Adkison has launched his own cryptocurrency investment firm, and it’s specifically for athletes.
Adkison said he is the first cryptocurrency hedge fund CEO to focus exclusively on athletes.
“I met a venture capitalist and explained what I do: that there’s a need for pro athletes to have that investment vehicle,” he said.
There was nothing stopping athletes from investing in cryptocurrency before, but having a firm that specializes in athlete clients could make the whole thing friendlier. Adkison has experience as a professional athlete on his side, and he’s got the connections in the baseball world to make this happen.
Adkison’s time in professional baseball was brief. He played in high school and at San Diego State (which is where he studied business), and was drafted by the Dodgers in 2017. He had promise as a hitter, but struggled after he was promoted to the Class-A Great Lake Loons, and a bone spur in his elbow didn’t help things.
His first season as a pro was rough, but it helped him realize that his true passion was technology. In fact, it was Tony Gwynn Jr. who helped him realize it. The two have known each other since Adkison was coached by the elder Gwynn at San Diego State, and he remembers a conversation he had with Adkison over dinner during spring training.
“I was a little taken aback but after he got talking about cryptocurrency, you heard the passion he had about it,” Gwynn said. “I asked him if he saw himself in the big leagues. He said, ‘no.’ I asked him, are you passionate about what you do? He said ‘yes.’
“I said, it sounds like you already have your mind made up.”
You need to be passionate about baseball to dedicate your life (not to mention your body and mind) to it, and Gwynn knew that Adkison’s true passion wasn’t in baseball.
Adkison started working on his new venture even before he officially retired, which he did on March 30 through his Twitter account. He formed a company and attracted investors during the offseason. When he launched, his first client was Joe Kelly, who is a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox. Now he has around thirty clients, made up of professional baseball and football players. His post-baseball career is off to an excellent start.
The future of cryptocurrency is far from certain, since it’s almost wholly unregulated. But Adkison is doing what every baseball player has to do in order to succeed: bet on himself.
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