The commemorative coins were especially a hit with collectors attending the Whitman Baltimore Expo.
Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications, said the average waiting time to buy coins at the show was two hours or more.
Numismatist Q. David Bowers confirmed that “the crowd of buyers in line to make purchases at the U.S. Mint sales display extended partway across the bourse floor, across the lobby of the Baltimore Convention Center, and into the street!”
Twelve-year-old Cole Bank from Vienna, Va., was first in line to buy a Proof 2014-W National Baseball Hall of Fame gold $5 half eagle at the expo.
Cole had J. Marc Landry, acting associate director for sales and marketing and the plant manager at the Philadelphia Mint, autograph the coin’s accompanying certificate of authenticity and attest to the coin as being the first sold.
Cole turned down a number of offers from dealers seeking to buy the coin as the first sold by the U.S. Mint. The coin was purchased for the introductory price of $424.75.
Later in the day, Cole was able to get his picture taken with Brooks Robinson, Hall of Fame third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson, who was one of five Hall of Famers who helped in the review of proposed coin designs for the common obverse, attended the Whitman Expo after another coin launch event on Capitol Hill with Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan.
Another young collector, 12-year-old Charlie McLaughlin from Arlington, Texas, was third in line at the U.S. Mint Sales Center in Washington, D.C., to buy the Baseball coins. Charlie, who accompanied his dad on a business trip and just happened to walk by the sales center, purchased one each of the Proof and Uncirculated 2014-P Baseball silver dollars.
During coin launch ceremonies on Capitol Hill at 11 a.m. EDT March 27, California artist Cassie McFarland, represented by U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum the childhood baseball glove she used as inspiration for her winning common obverse for the Baseball coins.
Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said the glove would immediately be placed on display at the museum.
United States Mint photo by Lateefah Simms.