Acting Deputy Treasury Secretary Mary Miller selected California
artist Cassie McFarland’s glove design for the common obverse for the
three-coin 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin program.
McFarland’s winning design will appear on the concave obverse of
the copper-nickel clad half dollar, silver dollar and $5 gold half
eagle in the program. McFarland’s design was one of 16 finalist
designs chosen from 178 design entries submitted in an open design
competition conducted from April 11 to May 11. The design was approved
by Miller Sept. 9.
The three commemorative coins are the first U.S. coins to be
struck with a concave obverse and convex reverse.
“Ms. McFarland’s design of a simple baseball glove, which is
paired with a baseball on the coin’s reverse, evokes childhood
emotions in us all,” Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson said
Oct. 16. “It represents a game of catch in the backyard or a trip to
the ballpark with Mom and Dad. These are memories millions of
American’s hold dear, and ones we’ll all be able to cherish forever,
through this commemorative coin program design.”
McFarland is a practicing figurative painter and photographer in
San Luis Obispo, Calif. She submitted her proposed design on the final
day of the competition. McFarland used as her design inspiration a
cherished, well-used glove from her childhood while growing up in
The announcement of McFarland’s winning design was posted late
Oct. 15 on the Mint website. A planned Oct. 8 event to unveil the
designs was canceled because of the government shutdown.
Despite the ceremony’s cancellation, McFarland still trekked to
the nation’s capital to visit friends and tour the city.
McFarland said that she met with Deputy U.S. Mint Director Dick
Peterson on Oct. 7 at Mint headquarters along with other Mint representatives.
During her visit, McFarland was provided a test strike of the
Proof 2014-P National Baseball Hall of Fame silver dollar, housed in a
special holder. Peterson allowed her to carry the coin around with her
during her Mint visit and then she had to give it back.
McFarland said she and Peterson autographed each other’s copies of
the most recent issue of Memories & Dreams magazine, published by
the Hall of Fame for HOF museum members, which illustrates the 2014
commemorative coins. Visit http://baseballhall.org/ for
museum membership information.
In addition to eventually being compensated $5,000 for her winning
design, McFarland will also have her italicized designer’s initials,
CM, appear in her design to the left of the date at the base of the
glove’s thumb pocket on all three coin denominations.
McFarland is filling out the paperwork to become an independent
government contractor. That would be advantageous should she seek a
spot as a member of Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program. The Mint will
seek AIP applications later this year.
U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II is sculpturing
McFarland’s obverse design. His initials, DE, will appear to the right
of the date.
McFarland’s obverse for the three denominations is being paired
with Everhart’s reverse depicting a baseball of the style used by
Major League Baseball.
Everhart’s designer’s initials appear in the bottom field to the
right of the baseball stitching.
For his design, Everhart placed the inscription UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA on two lines above E PLURIBUS UNUM, and centering the text on
the axis of the ball to line up with ONE DOLLAR. “The idea was to use
the convex side to the fullest extent and capture the illusion of a
baseball,” Everhart said. “With the extreme dome on this coin, it was
imperative that we take advantage of it and make it work for us.”
According to the Mint, the dome is measured from the top of the
rim to the apex of the convex reverse design — 0.085 inch on the gold
coins; 0.150 inch on the silver dollar; and 0.058 inch on the half dollar.
“I used a wireframe sphere to build my text on, so that the
wrapping-around effect of the lettering would be convincing.” Everhart
said. “Additionally, I made the seams progressively smaller as they
approached the edge of the design to further enhance the illusion of
roundness and perspective. Because of coinability issues I did not
extend the seams the whole way to the edge.”
Everhart said he first hand-sculptured the ball in clay, and then
made a plaster cast. “I worked a bit in the negative, then cast it
again and finished it off in the positive plaster,” he said. “From
this point, my text was applied digitally.”
Everhart was also tasked with sculpturing McFarland’s design to
make it compatible with his reverse.
“I wanted the glove side of the design to look as closely as
possible to a real glove,” Everhart said. “At home I found my son’s
Little League glove, which happened to be an almost exact duplicate of
the drawing Cassie McFarland used when she did the original design.”
Employing the real glove for comparison purposes, Everhart says he
was able to add details to McFarland’s design. “Some of these details
included the way the glove wrinkles around the fingers near the main
part of the glove and the flattening of the thumb part which I have
seen in every glove I had as a kid playing baseball,” Everhart said.
“Also, looking closely at the glove I noticed that the leather had a
certain texture that is very indicative of leather. This texture was
also incorporated into the sculpt digitally.”
While sculpturing, Everhart also had to take into account the
height of the coin’s relief, “especially near the outer parts of the
design. In order to fill completely when struck, I had to keep these
areas relatively low.”
Everhart made additional modifications to the winning design as
submitted by McFarland.
“The original drawing had a wreath motif around the outer part of
the glove. This was removed because we felt it would be confused with
the stitching,” Everhart said. “When I removed the wreath, I had to
add stitching that would have been in the areas where the wreath had
been removed. We also cleaned up the hand lettering a bit and warped
the lettering to conform to the topography of the glove.” ■