Following recent meetings of the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), both panels made recommendations for the same obverse design for the upcoming 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. The recommended design, as well as all other candidates for the obverse, were submitted through a public competition required under the authorizing legislation for the program.
The commemorative coin program provides for the issuance of up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad composition half dollars during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2014. All of the coins will feature a common reverse design shown above depicting a baseball and a common obverse design emblematic of the game of baseball selected through a public competition. The coins will be minted with a convex reverse to more closely resemble the shape of a baseball and a concave obverse for a more dramatic display of the design.
The competition to design the common obverse was open to submissions from April 11 to May 11, 2013. A total of 178 designs submissions were received, from which 26 semi-finalist designs were selected following a round of internal judging at the United States Mint. The designs were evaluated based on artistic merit, coinability, technical accuracy, and appropriateness. The field was narrowed to 16 finalist designs after evaluation by five members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame including Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith, Don Sutton, and Dave Winfield. These finalist designs were provided to the CFA and CCAC for their review and comment.
At a meeting held on July 18, 2013, CFA members were quickly drawn to two of the finalist designs featuring a baseball glove as strong images for the concave obverse of the coins. The Commission appreciated a three-dimensional model provided for the design featuring old fashioned baseball glove, but ultimately preferred the alternate design featuring a 1960’s style glove. The CFA did suggest refinement of the lettering and the omission of the foliage pattern at the edges of the glove as a confusing design element alongside the glove’s stitching.
At the CCAC’s meeting held from July 23-24, a recommendation was made for the same obverse design candidate. Chairman Gary Marks said, “The CCAC gave its strongest possible recommendation to design HOF 01 which shows an open baseball mitt. Committee members felt the concave nature of the coin’s obverse would lend itself well to the baseball mitt image and would be pair well with the convex baseball image on the reverse. The mitt image received 30 of the possible 30 points available through the committee’s scoring process…a perfect score. Perfect scores are rare for the CCAC.”
The authority to make the final design selection for the obverse of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins rests with the Secretary of the Treasury, who will weigh the recommendations of the CFA, CCAC, and National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Secretary of the Treasury has already made the official selection for the reverse design of the coins. The selection of the design shown above was officially announced on July 26 during opening day festivities of Induction Weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The design depicts a baseball similar to those use by Major League Baseball with the “sweet spot” of the baseball in central view containing the inscriptions “United States of America” and “E Pluribus Unum”. The denomination for each coin is included beneath.