"Batter Up! Pitch your coin design today," exclaims the United States Mint as a new contest gets underway. The Baseball Coin Design Competition seeks to find a winning design for the obverse or heads side of 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins.
If the chance of finding your design on an American coin is not enough, the winning artist is awarded $5,000 and their initials are placed on each of the commemorative coins. This event marks the first time a public coin design competition has been held by the U.S. Mint since 1992.
2014 Baseball coins will be struck in denominations and metals of $5 gold, $1 silver, and half-dollar clad. Each will feature the same basic obverse winning design.
First Curved-Shaped Coin for U.S. Mint
In a completely new design scheme for the U.S. Mint as seen in the animation video below, the $5 gold and silver dollar Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins will feature a reverse convex shape to more closely resemble a baseball and an obverse that is concave. This will be the first time the United States Mint has produced and issued a "curved" coin. The following U.S. Mint animation video provides a glimpse into how they will look.
Competition Background, Kids’ Baseball Coin Design Challenge
The baseball coin design competition kicked on Thursday, April 11, 2013 when it was officially unveiled at an event in the Russell Senate Office Building.
"Baseball and the United States Mint-two American treasures-are teaming up to produce a historic one-of-a-kind coin program," said Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios at the launch of the Baseball Coin Design Competition.
"Baseball is a touchstone in American history, and the United States Mint connects Americans to their history through coins. The Treasury Department is proud to be part of this commemorative coin program."
Submissions for the contest may be completed by any U.S. citizen or permanent resident, ages 14 and older.
A separate Kids’ Baseball Coin Design Challenge is also available for those 13 and under with the winning design showcased on the Department of the Treasury and National Baseball Hall of Fame web sites. In addition, the Kids’ Challenge Winner will receive a National Baseball Hall of Fame $1 Silver Commemorative Coin.
Congress set the coin design competition in motion when it passed the authorizing act for the coins. The act, named the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, became Public Law 112-152 when President Obama signed it on August 3, 2012.
A common tails or reverse design will be used for the commemoratives. It will depict the likeness of a baseball with design proposals already drawn up. Jump to the design candidates below.
Baseball Coin Design Competition – Guidelines, Rules and Entry Instructions
General guidelines for the obverse or front side of the coin call for a design that is emblematic of the game of baseball. Required inscriptions include the year 2014, LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
Additional contest details and entry submission information is available on the U.S. Mint’s website located here.
Submissions will be accepted from April 11, 2013 through to 12 noon (Eastern) on May 11, 2013. An early suspension of submissions may be instituted if more than 10,000 entries are received.
Commemorative Coin Surcharges
Sales of the commemorative coins include surcharges that will help fund the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (baseballhall.org) in Cooperstown, New York.
"Since Congress created the modern commemorative coin program in 1982, the United States Mint has raised more than $418 million in surcharges for non-profit organizations," said Treasurer Rios.
"The National Baseball Hall of Fame could be eligible to receive $9.5 million in surcharges if the maximum of 1.2 million coins in the program are sold," she added.
Surcharge amounts for the baseball coins are $35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar and $5 for every half-dollar. The respective maximum mintage for each coin is 50,000; 400,000; and 750,000. The U.S. Mint may sell them only in calendar year 2014.
Already created by U.S. Mint artists are design candidates for the reverse or tails side of the commemorative baseball coins. As required by Public Law 112-152, these designs had to depict a "baseball similar to those used by Major League Baseball." Inscriptions include the coin’s denomination, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
There are 6 major designs for the reverses but with the unique denominations of $5, $1 or $.50 there is actually 18 candidates. Here are images for the reverse design candidates for the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar.
All sixteen candidates have been run by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), two bodies responsible for reviewing designs on U.S. coinage and medals.
Candidate design "02" above, or a very close variation of it, appears to be the likely choice based on recommendations from the CFA, CCAC and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Treasury Secretary has the ultimate responsibility to select the final designs.