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Monetary Pastime: Coins to Commemorate, Benefit Baseball Hall of Fame

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December 16, 2013

Official coins from the United States Mint will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. To be released early in 2014, they will be the first curve coins ever released by the Mint.

One side of the coin will contain a stitched pattern resembling that on a baseball and the words "United States of America" and "E pluribus unum." The other side of the coin will contain a design of a baseball glove, with the words "Liberty" and "In God we trust" in the webbing.

The design is courtesy of Cassie McFarland, an artist and photographer who lives in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The San Francisco Giants fan won a public contest put on by the U.S. Treasury. Of the 178 designs submitted, an initial set of judges narrowed the field to 26 semifinalists, from which panel of Baseball Hall of Fame judges narrowed the field to 16 finalists. A panel containing officials from the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee chose the winner.

McFarland said that the inspiration for her design, of a 1960s style glove, was a real-life glove that she had as a child. She won $5,000, and her initials will appear on the coins.

The side showing the baseball was designed by Don Everhart, a sculptor-engraver with the Mint.

The coins will appear in denominations of $1, $5, and 50 cents. The $5 coins will be gold. The $1 coins will be silver. The 50-cent pieces will be clad, a normal metal derivation that does not include precious metals.

Sales will benefit the Baseball Hall of Fame thus: $5 for each 50-cent piece, $10 for each dollar coin, and $35 for each $5 coin.

The public law that created the coins stipulates a maximum issuance of 50,000 of the $5 coins, 400,000 of the dollar coins, and 750,000 of the half-dollar variety.




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