Cleveland pitching prospect is selling shares in himself

The Baltimore Sun

Now this is fantasy baseball. Randy Newsom is a relief-pitcher prospect for the Cleveland Indians. The submarining right-hander is selling 4 percent of his future major-league earnings - if there are any - for $50,000. You don't have to put up the whole $50,000, however. You can buy shares in Newsom at $20 per pop, as brokered by Real Sports Investments, his company (

Each $20 share is worth 0.0016 percent of his future major-league earnings. So say he turns into something like Dan Quisenberry, earns an average of $4 million a year and works 10 years. The 4 percent stake held by investors would be worth $1.6 million. Your little $20 venture would pay $640 over the course of his career.

Last year Newsom played for the Akron Aeros, Cleveland's AA farm team, and had four wins, one loss, 18 saves and a 3.12 ERA, according to his Web site.

"The key now for him is to become more consistent and show he can continue to pitch in pressure situations," says the Cleveland Indians Minor League Insider blog. "He should start the season in the Buffalo (AAA) bullpen and could make his professional debut with the Indians sometime in 2008."

And if he does, the Randy Newsom initial public offering will start paying off. He needs to make $1.25 million for investors to break even.

Newsom shares are similar to the David Bowie bonds sold a decade ago. The rock singer got $55 million up front from Prudential Insurance, and the bonds were secured and funded by royalties from Bowie albums recorded up to 1990. But Bowie bonds weren't available to the public.

Rather than just lending money to Newsom through a bond, you would become his equity partner, sharing in all of his upside. If he washes out and never makes the bigs, however, he keeps the $50,000 and you've struck out. I think I'd rather invest in his Real Sports Investments company, which is trying to sell pieces of other minor leaguers, than his pitching career.

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