US Coins

Baseball coins are popular, with collectors and wordsmiths

Everyone seems to be having fun with the March 27 launch of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin program. 

Both Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and Professional Coin Grading Service got clever with their special labels used to identify coins sold by the U.S. Mint at the Whitman Expo in Baltimore. NGC uses the familiar baseball phrasing “Opening Day” while PCGS uses the phrase “Baltimore First Pitch.”

I asked our in-house humorist (and world coin guru and baseball fan) Jeff Starck for some more puns and he indulged my request. 

??The U.S. Mint threw collectors a curve ball when it initiated ordering limits in anticipation of strong demand for the coins.

??The Mint made its pitch to collectors — and collectors connected, buying nearly 40 percent of the 400,000 authorized mintage during the first 12 hours of the Proof and Uncirculated silver dollars sales. 

??If collectors aren’t fast, they may “strike out” if they want to buy a Baseball gold $5 coin. During the first 12 hours of sales, the Mint had sold more than 80 percent of the authorized mintage of 50,000 Proof and Uncirculated gold $5 coins. 

??If collectors aren’t quick, those who didn’t buy early from the Mint won’t just be left high and dry, but “just a bit outside” looking in at those who did pounce.

??A sellout of all three types — the silver dollar, copper-nickel clad half dollar and $5 gold half eagle — will “clear the bases” of the coins from the Mint’s inventory. 

Rarely has a modern issue had so much built-in appeal. 

After all, it’s baseball, America’s national pastime.

But, they’re also really cool coins with their curved surfaces that are unique in U.S. issues. 

It’s one of the rare issues that makes even noncollectors say “wow.”

The baseball coins fit in line with what international mints are doing in having visual appeal that reaches beyond the normal coin collecting audience. 

The Mint realized that having a great topic on a commemorative simply wasn’t enough. Instead, the Mint “stepped up to the plate” and created something special and innovative that should prove to be appealing for generations of collectors.

If we’re lucky, these baseball coins might inspire a few new people to pick up our hobby. 

And that’s a real “grand slam” for everyone involved.

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