Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Design Update

There have been some recent developments on the selection of the designs which will appear on the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. This program will include a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half dollar, each minted with a concave obverse and convex reverse. The common obverse design for all three coins is to be emblematic of the game of baseball, while the common reverse design will depict a baseball similar to those used by Major League Baseball.

Baseball Coin Reverse Design

The final selection for the reverse design of the coin was officially announced by the United States Mint on Friday and is shown above.

Initially, there had been six design candidates provided by the Mint for review by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The CFA had recommended one of these original candidates. Discussions at the CCAC meeting had prompted the creation of two additional variations, one of which would carry the CCAC’s recommendation. The Secretary of the Treasury, who has the authority to select the final design, went with the former.

The common obverse design for the coins is being selected through a public competition. During an open submissions period, a total of 178 designs were submitted by the public. From this number, there were 24 initial semi-finalist designs selected through internal judging at the US Mint. After a discrepancy was discovered, five additional candidates were added and separately three candidates were removed for noncompliance, resulting in a final total of 26 semi-finalists. A round of judging by a panel of Baseball Hall of Famers, resulted in 16 finalist designs.

The finalist designs were provided to the CFA, CCAC, and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for review and comment. I had also provided Mint News Blog readers with the opportunity to vote on their preferred design within an unofficial poll.

MNB Survey

Readers were somewhat divided, with the top two contenders very close and four different alternatives each receiving at least 10% of the vote. These top choices along with the percentage of the vote received are shown above.


During the course of last week, both the CFA and CCAC held their meetings to review the finalist designs and provide their recommendations. Both groups were offered the same recommendation shown above, which had received 8.15% of the vote in the unofficial Mint News Blog poll.

According to this CoinWorld article, one member of the CFA was immediately drawn to the glove designs since they would pair well with the reverse design featuring a baseball. Other members agreed with “no debate and little discussion.” From the two finalist designs featuring a glove as the single focus, members unanimously supported the 1960’s style glove. They did request that the foliage pattern at the edge of the glove be omitted and the lettering refined.

The CCAC was also drawn to the glove designs and made the same recommendation. According to Chairman Gary Marks, “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.”

From here, the Acting Director of the United States Mint will make a final recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury, weighing all relevant factors including the recommendations of the CFA, CCAC, and National Baseball Hall of Fame.

With both the CFA and CCAC supporting the same design candidate, it becomes more likely that this design will be the final selection. The official announcement of the final selection is scheduled to take place on September 10, 2013.

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  1. stephen m says

    fmxmitter, What did happen here with the WP sets? A mint employee having fun, a mistake, a for real 2nd window, a hacker? I have an e-mail confirmation for an order placed on 7-30 for 1ea. WP 2 coin set. I’ll let the blog know if it remains valid or not.

  2. Larry says

    Finally got my WP set, and I have to say it was worth the wait. The enhanced unc coin really lives up to all the hype. You can complain about the mint all you want, but they sure got this right. I don’t think anyone has to worry about loosing money on this coin. Now hopefully we can see this done to the Kennedy half next year for the 50th anniversary.

  3. ClevelandRocks says

    The 2014 enhanced UNC will have lower mintages and higher premiums. 15’s and 16’s even lower mintages. I remember getting the Jefferson FS and thinking, wow lucky to have this cool, desirable, sold-out coin. Now OGP sells for spot plus a little premium…

  4. Robt says

    Where is the eagle??? Two coin series to look forward to in the next year — Baseball Hall of Fame coin and America the Beautiful series.

  5. JagFan says

    Shame on the Mint… They should be reselling any and all returns at a lower price and these should be identified as such. If there are any defects or quality issues with the returned coin, it needs to be discarded and destroyed. Seriously, reselling a defective coin? If it was Toyota, we would already have a recall issued!

    In a nutshell, our national mint is selling a unique spinoff of our American Silver Eagle using deceptive practices, lack of quality control by reselling inferior coins, a nightmare in their shipping department that they are blaming on a supply issue FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY, REALLY?

    This isn’t the first time that the mint has screwed over the collectors and it won’t be the last time either.. Buyer beware.

    Who is the director of the Mint? Peterson? Have we heard anything from the mint in regards to all of the issues that are taking place and the fact that they were dishonest about the sales period? He’s gotta go!

  6. stephen m says

    I received an e-mail from the mint this a.m. and it said my WP set i ordered yesterday has been cancelled. All this mess is a auto system generated e-mail. It seems when the number of cancellations dropped to a certain number the auto system took over and opened the sales window up again. Sloppy way of doing business but it appears the end of the 30 day window was, is and will be the cut off day to order a WP set. It seems to me the final sales will be in line with the 2012 SF set. I don’t see a following of more than 200,000 ASE junkies and that is a heavy sided estimate. It’s just business as usual at our beloved mint.

  7. Fosnock says

    @stephen – I was going to break up a WP set but I think you are right and I just might hold on to it to see if I can flip it. I also think things are worst as most of the sets that have shipped seem to be going to the dealers

  8. fmtransmitter says

    @stephen m: Hmmm, that is what the mint told you eh? Their “auto system” kicked in when cancellations reached a certain point. Who wrote THAT software. The TRUTH is the TPG’s called and said hey mint, what are you doing, I got a guy with CASH that will but all those ‘extras for a bit over spot’ and you don’t have to pay shipping anyone, just sell them all to us and don’t worry about boxes, returns, etc. Sounds a whole lot more believable.

  9. fmtransmitter says

    This is a BUSINESS and these coins are to be sold for a PROFIT, as any business should. They are a commodity. If a guy shows up and says he will buy them all and they don’t have to pay for more Chinese boxes, the Public buyer is the one getting screwed. These will all go to a Dealer who will slab and sell them IMHO.

  10. high low silver says

    I wonder why the Mint doesn’t take down the offering, its been sold out for almost 2 months now. Just another thing I noticed over the past couple years. They use to take them down 2 weeks after they sold out.

  11. Fosnock says

    A lot of speculation, first they are screwing customers by selling them rejects, now they are screwing customers by selling the rejects to dealers.

    It seems to me the auto system kicked in, I remember when the 2009 Silver Quarter Proof Sets came back on sale about 2 weeks after it soldout. I placed an order but it never got fulfilled. IMHO this is just a system glitch

  12. stephen m says

    fmxmitter, . I haven’t talked to anyone at the mint. I used a little common sense and came up with the scenerio i posted. The government won’t sell, even though they are a business and will lose some money, any excess sets that are left over after the window closed due to cancellations. I know this doesn’t make sense in a business kind of way but it’s how they operate. It’s the governments way. That is one reason we are in debt to the tune of 18 trillion dollars.Too much waste at our dime. You and your thoughts could be right. I worked for the government and know how they operate.

  13. Samuel says

    s, the mint system is not that smart. my theory is, they did try to sell again, but after saw so many voices here, they stopped.

    i strongly suggest the mint to open its own grading service, and put different price tiers in place, and dont sell box unless people order ogp. and maybe different labels, signed by secretery, mint dr, or even president.

  14. Eddie says

    Why doesn’t the Mint put up a statement on the website explaining the situation and say we are sorry for the delays.
    The Mint knew how many boxes they needed so why the delay to begin with? Just put the shipment of boxes on a plane and get them over here (should have been made here anyway).

  15. fmtransmitter says

    I worked for them also, actually for the VA (Veterans Administration) helping our Vets. I witnessed so much mis use and abuse of taxpayer dollars it made me physically ill after awhile.

  16. Ak Bob says

    Here we go again! I wonder what will happen with the Reverse Proof Buffalo?? The mint has NO order limit for the first week like many of us requested/suggested of the mint so it looks like the BIG dealers are going to get their’s first AGAIN!!!! The mint might as well start selling to the BIG guys only. I will NOT be buying from the mint. Like I stated a few weeks ago, I’m done with the mint. I’ll buy on the secondary market and will probably save money in the long run. The WP sets are starting to come down in price already. I’m so upset with the mint I could spit nails!!! What are they thinking?????? Can anyone explain???? What was wrong with the way they did the 25th Ann Set? Have some ordering limits, PLEASE, PLEASE. PLEASE. Anyone that really wanted one of those sets got it, PERIOD. How can the mint be so messed up. This is truly amazing and am glad to see that other folks here feel the same as I do. I’ve emailed the mint so I just hope others are doing the same. It doesn’t do any good to complain if they don’t hear about it so lets get the word back to the mint and hopefully they can get things straightened out. I’m not going to hold my breathe tho. I was excited about the RP Gold coin but after reading this blog I just lost my appetite and that’s unfortunate as I just love Reverse Proof coins. Happy collecting to you ALL and thanks for your input, makes for an interesting read.

  17. high low silver says

    I just read a news story that Pennsylvania is scrapping a 156 million Unemployment Comp computer.modernizing contract with IBM, and are now looking at legal actions.

  18. beaver says

    For those of you that ordered on the on the first day of ordering and still waiting for your WP set,I feel for you!! It is tragic that the Mint has to resell those coins that were returned. Albeit,the Mint should carefully inspect what they are reselling. The coins maybe damaged or poor quality! Good luck to all. And to those that already received them,I hope you’re happy with your purchase!

  19. vaughnster says

    I feel bad for all of you who are still waiting and getting screwed around by the Mint. I was fortunate to receive my sets the first week in July and I must admit they are beautiful, as many have said on this blog. I took a chance and sent four WP sets still sealed in the Mint’s shipping box to PCGS to get the special West Point/First Strike label. I received an email last night from PCGS with two sets grading PF70 and two sets grading PF69. They had the sets two weeks and they shipped out today. When I sent in some 2011 Anniversary sets it took six weeks to get them back from PCGS. Maybe the Big Boys have already sent their sets in earlier or perhaps some are still waiting?

  20. fmtransmitter says

    @vaugnster, there was another blogger who’s enhanced graded out at 70 but both his reverse proofs graded 69. Is this same is your situation? Just curious, thanks in advance..

  21. nick says

    in all seriousness I do need that philly mint number where they are selling wp sets. I got mine today and there was a scratch on the reverse. going to try to replace it and return to mint. I do need that number if possible

  22. stephen m says

    Nick ,i called last week and was told they were sold out of them.The # is 215-408-0230. Good luck.

  23. Ak Bob says

    @Nick, try 215-408-0230 for the philly gift shop. I went back thru the blogs to find it and it took a while. Good Luck!

  24. Darek says

    I was in Philadelphia last week and at that time they didn’t have any WP sets. Sold Out.

  25. Darek says

    They sell all gold coins except First Spouse coins. At that time they didn’t have any 5oz in stock which is strange because the production is behind the wall.

  26. vaughnster says

    @fmtransmitter– 2 WP reverse proofs graded PF70 and two PF69 and two WP enhanced graded PF70 and two PF69. I think I was very fortunate having to send them in unopened without inspecting them first.

  27. Jon in CT says

    nick wrote on July 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm:

    in all seriousness I do need that philly mint number where they are selling wp sets. I got mine today and there was a scratch on the reverse. going to try to replace it and return to mint. I do need that number if possible

    Good luck with that. A company called ARAMARK operates the gift shop concessions at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints. You didn’t buy your West Point coins from the US Mint, you bought them from ARAMARK. I hope you familiarized yourself with ARAMARK’s sales terms and conditions before you bought anything from them.

  28. Jon in CT says

    Darek wrote on July 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm:

    They sell all gold coins except First Spouse coins. At that time they didn’t have any 5oz in stock which is strange because the production is behind the wall.

    I’m pretty sure ARAMARK buys its Mint numismatic coins from the same place we do. However, I suspect their account with the Mint is special and gets them a fixed discount on all of the Mint’s products they choose to order. I also suspect they’ve discovered the First Spouse gold coins and the 5 oz silver AtB coins sell like crap and they therefore stock only the minimum required by their concession contract (which might be zero).

  29. JosepH says

    It will be interesting to see how the buffalo reverse proof ends up. I think it will be the same fate as WP set. definitely will NOT order that. really be afraid that some day they will open more windows… LOL

  30. Darek says

    Does WP Mint have the gift shop? I try to buy 2012 Cleveland first term and Harrison proof , but every time I received damaged coin ( 12 times returned for replacement- 3 orders). Coins surface was damaged ( looks like sand blasted to me -visible by naked eye). Thats why I want to buy in the store so I can inspect coins and not waste my time returning online orders.

  31. Dave says

    Off topic — if interested, see my comment, under June 27 — 2013 West Point Eagles. On August 01.

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