In case you hadn’t circled the date on your calendar, the deadline passed earlier this month for a contest sponsored by the U.S. Mint that challenged baseball fans and coin lovers alike to design a new commemorative coin celebrating the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The deadline for the adult contest, which came and went on May 11, saw the Mint receive some 178 entrants vying to have their designs displayed on the obverse of the new commemorative, which is slated to be released in 2014 and will be the first curved coin ever released by the Mint.
Now that the candidates are in, it will be up to a panel of five judges to select which design will be selected for the Hall. That panel is made up of a Hall of Fame cast, as former Major League Baseball players Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Dave Winfield will have the final say on the winner. That group will have the weighty task of picking which design will be the grand slam of the group, a duty that will likely take at least a few weeks as they weigh the options.
The judges have been charged with selecting the design for a commemorative that will come in three different denominations, with collectors having the option to pick up a clad half dollar piece, a silver dollar or a $5 gold coin celebrating the nation’s pastime. With 178 options to choose from, the judges will certainly have their work cut out for them as the rest of the coin world anxiously waits to see what the new commemorative piece will look like. The lucky winner will be immortalized on the coin – which was required to feature a general baseball scene honoring the sport – as the recipient will not only win a $5,000 prize for being selected but will also have their initial alongside their design placed on the coin.
For youngsters who haven’t had a chance to jump into the fray, there’s still time, as the contest geared toward entrants aged 14 and under will run through June 28. School is almost out and kids who have a passion for the national pastime and numismatics should step up to the plate and swing away at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Check out the U.S. Mint web site for more information on the contest and instructions on how to submit an entry.