US Coins

Medal celebrates early baseball star

Early baseball star Lipman Pike is honored on the 2016 annual medal from the American Israel Numismatic Association.

Coin World photography by Ray Wilder.

Early baseball star Lipman Emanuel “Lip” Pike is the subject of the 2016 annual brass medal from the American Israel Numismatic Association.

Pike — nicknamed the “Iron Batter” — was a 19th century baseball star, and the first Jewish baseball player in the professional leagues.

Pike was born in New York and lived in Brooklyn. 

His hitting prowess made him of the premier players of his day, and his record of five home runs in consecutive at-bats in an 1866 game still stands.

Pike was elected to the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Israel in 1985.

He appears on the obverse of the AINA medal for 2016, with the year date of the medal and his name filling the sparse scene in a design by Mel Wacks and Paul Connor. The designers' initials appear by Pike’s left shoulder (at the viewer’s right).

The AINA logo (as designed by Nathan Sobel) fills the reverse of the medal. 

The Prooflike medal measures 32 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 500 pieces. The pieces were struck at the Highland Mint.

All AINA members receive an example of the medal for free, and the offer is extended to members who join now for the $25 annual rate. Membership also includes the quarterly journal, The Shekel.

Individual or additional examples of the medal are also available from AINA for $5 each, postpaid.

To join or obtain the medal, write to AINA at P.O. Box 20255, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269, or telephone it at 818-225-1348.  

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