The failure of a member of a design review panel to properly follow
the established criteria during an internal round of judging for the
Baseball Coin Design Competition did not adversely affect any of the
contestants’ entries, Mint officials announced July 9.
The competition is being conducted to select a common obverse
design emblematic of the game of baseball for the 2014 National
Baseball Hall of Fame gold $5 half eagle, silver dollar and
copper-nickel clad half dollar.
Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Public
Information, said as soon as the discrepancy was uncovered, “to
protect the integrity of the competition and to be fair to all
contestants,” Mint officials dropped the offending judge’s scores from
the design evaluations.
Jurkowsky said Mint officials declined to disclose the exact
nature of the violation of judging criteria.
The discrepancy resulted in the addition of five semifinalist
designs (just one design per designer was permitted at the
semifinalist stage), bringing the total number of semifinalist designs
to 26. The total number of semifinalist designs could have been 27;
the Mint originally submitted 22 semifinalist designs to the judges at
the semifinalist level, but at one point during the judging, one of
the original 22 designers pulled his or her design from consideration.
The discrepancy led the Mint to remove the semifinalist designs
June 27 from the website where they had been posted for public viewing
for 22 days; the 26 designs were placed on public view at the website
starting on July 9. Designs that reached the semifinalist stage were
posted through www.USMint.gov online at http://batterup.challenge.gov.
The changes required a second round of judging at the semifinalist
level. This second round of judging, including the five new
semifinalists, resulted in the selection of three additional
finalists, yielding a total of 17 finalists, according to Jurkowsky.
The Mint’s internal design evaluation team evaluated submissions
for artistic merit, coinability, technical merit and appropriateness
to become semifinalists; the problem with the judging occurred at this
level, according to the Mint.
Five members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame — Joe Morgan,
Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith, Don Sutton and Dave Winfield — completed
their initial evaluation of the semifinalist designs between June 5
and 10. Following a second review subsequent to the judging
discrepancy, the Hall of Fame players who judged the designs again
submitted their scores to determine the finalists.
The finalists’ designs will be available for public view through
www.USMint.gov and also at http://batterup.challenge.gov beginning
July 18, the same day the designs are to be formally reviewed by the
Commission of Fine Arts, and also presented to the Citizens Coinage
Advisory Committee and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
for further review and comment.
The CCAC is scheduled to formally review the finalist designs in
public session sometime during its July 24 and 25 meeting.
The acting director of the United States Mint, Richard Peterson,
will make a final recommendation sometime in August after considering
all relevant factors, including the comments and recommendations of
the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the CFA and the CCAC.
The secretary of the Treasury, Jacob J. “Jack” Lew, will make the
final design selection, which is scheduled to be announced in September.
The 17 finalist designs will be reviewed by the CFA, CCAC,
National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Peterson, before being presented
to Lew for final selection.
The first 14 finalists were notified of their selection on June 19
by a representative of the Mint’s design and engraving staff,
Jurkowsky said. The additional three finalists and the prior 14
finalists were notified July 9 by email, also sent by a representative
of the design and engraving staff, Jurkowsky said.
“It should be noted that the previous 21 semi-finalists, along
with the new semi-finalists who were not selected as finalists, were
also informed via email today,” Jurkowsky said July 9.
A total of 178 designs were submitted for the competition between
noon Eastern Daylight Time April 11 and 5 p.m. May 11 by entrants ages
14 and older.
The contestant whose design is chosen for the common obverse will
receive compensation of not less than $5,000, according to provisions
of the enabling legislation, Public Law 112-152 (The National Baseball
Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act).
The winning designer will also have his or her initials appear on
the obverse along with those of the member of the U.S. Mint’s
engraving staff assigned to sculpture the design for die production.
The obverse design will be struck concave on all three coins.
The common reverse design selected by Lew will be unveiled July 26
at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.,
during Hall of Fame induction weekend activities, Jurkowsky said.
The selected reverse design is to be similar to the style of
baseball used by Major League Baseball.
The proposed reverse designs were generated by members of the U.S.
Mint’s engraving staff and Artistic Infusion Program.
The common reverse design will be struck convex on all three
commemorative coin denominations.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame coins are scheduled to go on
sale in early 2014. ■