Baseball lingo was plentiful but few of the valuable baseball commemorative coins were on hand March 27 as the U.S. Mint joined with the National Baseball Hall of Fame to launch the sale of the first curved U.S. coins.
The March 27 ceremony, held in a small Senate hearing room on Capitol Hill, marked the beginning of sales for the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame gold $5 half eagle, silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half dollar honoring the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.
But there was just one problem. Congressional rules prevented the Mint from selling any of its new coins at the ceremony, although officials did bring a set for the guests to view.
Each of the National Baseball Hall of Fame coins shares a common concave obverse depicting a baseball glove and a common convex reverse showing a baseball similar to that used by Major League Baseball.
A line of at least 40 buyers had formed at the Mint’s sales center on the first floor of U.S. Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the coins went on sale at noon Eastern Daylight Time.
Hall of Fame players
Actual sales began just minutes after the Capitol Hill ceremony, which brought together some of the New York lawmakers who pushed for the legislation, along with two of the Hall of Famers, Joe Morgan and Brooks Robinson.
Morgan and Robinson were among the five Hall of Famers who considered the 178 proposed designs for the common obverse submitted during a public design competition in 2013.
Baseball kudos galore were proffered at the Capitol Hill event, as Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., was lauded for hitting one “out of the park” with House passage of the coin bill, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was praised for “a perfect game” for getting the bill through the Senate.
“This is such a great day,” said Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark.