The United States Mint faced two major hurdles in preparing for the
2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin program:
selecting designs and learning how to strike the coins.
The U.S. Mint conducted a public design competition, which it had
not done since 1991 when it invited the public to submit designs for
the three-coin program celebrating the 1992 Olympic Games.
To select the design, the U.S. Mint conducted its first online
design competition. It executed its Baseball Coin Design Competition
by soliciting designs through the Challenge.gov website from April 11
through May 11.
The winning obverse design was submitted by 28-year-old San Luis
Obispo, Calif., artist Cassie McFarland, who used a worn baseball
glove from her childhood as inspiration.
McFarland’s design was one of 178 total submissions by entrants
ages 14 and up.
In addition to an internal U.S. Mint review team that included
artistic and technical personnel, the designs were also scrutinized by
five members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
McFarland’s design was selected Sept. 9 from among 16 finalist designs.
McFarland receives a $5,000 award, and her designer’s initials
will appear on the obverse of the gold $5 coin, silver dollar and
copper-nickel clad half dollar.
McFarland’s design is paired with a reverse designed and
sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II. Everhart
also sculptured McFarland’s design.
Everhart’s adopted design of a stitched baseball similar to one
used by Major League Baseball was refined from a spontaneous rendering
at the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee’s March 11 meeting.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, Public
Law 112-152, mandates for the $5 and $1 coins “that the reverse of the
coin is convex to more closely resemble a baseball and the obverse
concave, providing a more dramatic display of the obverse design
The U.S. Mint eventually included the copper-nickel clad half
dollar in the concave-convex development and execution, resulting in
the first such convex-concave clad coin.
During the design competition, Steve Antonucci, branch manager for
digital process and development at the Philadelphia Mint, led
technical efforts to execute the coins.
Nonsense dies using a pool player obverse design and 8-ball
reverse were used in early test strikes, until Everhart’s design was
announced July 26.
The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins are
slated to be offered for sale early in the year. ■