Designs shown for 2022 coins to honor baseball league centennial
- Published: Nov 13, 2021, 10 AM
Designs approved by Treasury for the three-coin 2022 Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial commemorative coin program were unveiled Nov. 10 by the U.S. Mint in a virtual webinar from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
The coins go on sale Jan. 6.
The program, authorized under provisions of the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, Public 116-209, recognizes the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the establishment of the Negro National League, a professional baseball league formed in response to African-American players being banned from the major leagues.
The three-coin program allows the production and release combined in Proof and Uncirculated versions of up to 50,000 gold $5 coins, 400,000 silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars.
The price of each $5 coin will include a $35 surcharge; each dollar, $10 surcharge; and each half dollar, a $5 surcharge. Net surcharges, after the U.S. Mint recoups all of its production and related costs, are to be forwarded to Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The museum was established in 1990 in a tiny one-room office in Kansas City, Missouri.
In November 1997, under the leadership of its late chairman John “Buck” O’Neil, the NLBM moved into its new 10,000-square-foot home inside a cultural complex known as the Museums at 18th & Vine.
In 2006, Congress designated the NLBM as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”
In his Nov. 10 remarks preceding the unveiling of the coin designs, museum president Bob Kendrick remarked how well the adopted designs reflect the Leagues’ ideals of “pride, passion and perseverance.”
In her pre-recorded remarks, acting U.S. Mint Director Ventris Gibson noted that “just as this game connects families and communities, every day, across the nation, the Mint connects Americans through coins. Next year it will be our great privilege to connect America to the extraordinary legacy of Negro Leagues Baseball.”
Gibson added that the Negro Leagues hold deep significance to her, since her father was the pitcher for the Massie Mills Giants in Virginia from 1949 until the early 1960s.
Designed by Artistic Infusion Program designer Laurie Musser and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill, the gold $5 coin’s obverse features a portrait of Negro National League founder Rube Foster with his facsimile signature.
The $5 coin’s reverse was designed by AIP designer — formerly Mint sculptor-engraver — Donna Weaver and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Eric Custer. Its design depicts the gesture of tipping one’s cap, an important sign of respect for players.
AIP designer Matt Swaim designed and Custer sculpted the silver dollar obverse, which depicts a pitcher in mid-throw, with the baseball in the foreground and baseball stitching as a border.
The silver dollar’s reverse was designed by AIP designer and former Mint sculptor-engraver Donald Everhart II and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Craig Campbell.
The dollar’s reverse design illustrates a player’s eye view of a pitch being delivered.
For the half dollar, AIP designer Chris Costello created the obverse and it is sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist John McGraw. The obverse design depicts a Negro Leagues tour bus, which served as home on the road when players were refused entry to hotels and restaurants. Additionally, a batter exemplifies the determination to play the game he loves, regardless of challenging circumstances.
The half dollar’s reverse, designed by AIP designer Justin Kunz and sculpted by Hemphill, shows five players.
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