RCM celebrates Canadian baseball history on coin
- Published: Mar 19, 2018, 7 AM
Sports fans may consider baseball as America’s pastime, but the game is popular in Canada as well, with a history that may precede America’s version.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s newest concave/convex coin marks the 180th anniversary of what some historians believe was Canada’s first baseball game.
Seeing doubled elements on a Lincoln cent? You might have a doubled die variety. Also in this issue, we reflect on a time when U.S. paper money depicted living persons.
The June 4, 1838, affair in an open pasture in Beachville, Ontario, featured elements that would be familiar to enthusiasts today: a hand-hewn “club,” and a ball made of yarn and calfskin were all that was necessary to stage a match that made sports history.
Fittingly shaped like a baseball, the reverse of this 2018 convex-shaped coin steps back in time 180 years, to the first detailed record of a baseball game played in Canada, with an image that captures the early spirit of a sport beloved by many Canadians today.
The reverse design by artist Steve Hepburn combines art and technology to re-create the historic sporting moment. Paired with engraved stitchwork, the coin’s curvature transforms the reverse into a baseball-shaped canvas fit for commemorating the most detail for the earliest documented game played in Canada.
As seen from behind the “knocker’s stone” (home plate today), the participants from Beachville and Zorra are all in position: one team stands in the open field, ready to catch the ball; a “knocker” (batter) from the opposing team grips the “club” (bat) as he keeps his focus on the ball tossed by the “thrower” (pitcher); to the right of him, an “umpire” leans in to rule whether the ball is “fair” or “unfair.”
At their feet, the denomination 25 DOLLARS is engraved in a vintage-looking font; in the arched banner above, the double commemorative dates 1838 and 2018 flank a rendering of equipment of the early era: two clubs (crossed) and a yarn ball covered by stitched calfskin.
The Proof. 9999 fine silver $25 coin features the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.
The coin weighs 30.75 grams and measures 36.07 millimeters in diameter.
It has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces and retails for $159 Canadian.
To order the coin, visit the RCM website.
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