This week, the United States Mint unveiled the semi-finalist designs for the Baseball Coin Design Competition. The winning design will be used as the common obverse of the 2014 commemorative coins issued to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad composition half dollar included in the program will all feature a convex/ concave shape.
Under the authorizing legislation, the convex reverse design will depict a baseball similar to those used by Major League Baseball. This design will be selected through the typical process which involves review by the organization, Commission of Fine Arts, and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee before selection by the Secretary of the Treasury. The designs recommended by the CFA and CCAC appear below.
From the submissions, a total of 24 semi-finalist designs were selected. These will be evaluated by Baseball Hall of Fame judges Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton, and Joe Morgan. Finalist designs will be presented to the CCAC and CFA in July for review and recommendation. The winning design will be announced in September 2013.
Below are some of the semi-finalist designs. All 24 semi-finalists can be viewed here.
Anticipation Of A Season
Essence of a Nation’s Pastime
Dad’s Baseball Glove
The Big Three
The Spirit of Baseball
Liberty is a Grand Slam
Only one of these designs will be selected and used in common across all three coins in the program. In retrospect, it might have been better to see a different design used for each of the three denominations. Some designs clearly seem more suited to the larger sized silver dollar (1.5 inch diameter) while others would seem to work best on the smaller $5 gold coin (0.85 inches).
In my opinion there are enough excellent quality design submissions to fill out three different coin designs, but under the authorizing legislation we will only see one design used for all coins.
Readers are free to leave comments on their favorite designs. Later in the summer, I will put together an unofficial Mint News Blog Poll where readers can vote on the best design among a selection of favorites.