Vote on Your Favorite Baseball Hall of Fame Coin Design

I wanted to give Mint News Blog readers a chance to vote on their favorite design from the semi-finalist designs of the Baseball Coin Design Competition. The officially selected winning design will be used as the common obverse of the 2014 commemorative $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and half dollars issued to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

There have been some changes to the eligible semi-finalist designs since they were unveiled in the first week of June. After a discrepancy was discovered in an internal round of judging, five additional semi-finalists were added. Additionally, three of the original semi-finalists were removed for non-compliance. Two of the removed designs (“Anticipation Of A Season” and “The Spirit of Baseball”) were highlighted in my previous post.

Aside from the additions and removals, there has also been some controversy within comments posted on the Challenge.Gov site regarding two of the design entries (“Uncle Same G.W.R.B.I.” and “The Big Three”).

Under the posted rules, each entrant may submit only one design for the competition. After commenters suggested that one individual had submitted two entries, a moderator indicated that the two entries were made by individuals from the same family. Several commenters noted the strong similarities in style and the identical font used across the two designs. Even if the entries were from two different individuals, any type of collaboration would be disallowed under the rules. So far, it seems that both designs remain within the pool of eligible semi-finalists.

Without further ado, here is the Mint News Blog Baseball Hall of Fame Coin Design Poll. From the 26 eligible semi-finalist designs, I included eight specific entries. If none of these are your favorite from the eligible designs, there is an option to indicate your preference for one of the others. (View all eligible semi-finalist designs here.)

Keep in mind that these designs are intended to be used for the concave obverse design and paired with a convex reverse design depicting a baseball. It’s also worth noting that the winning design will be used in common across the $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half dollar, which range in size from 0.85 inches to 1.5 inches in diameter.

This is, of course, an unofficial poll created to allow readers a chance to show their preferences.

Officially, five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame have evaluated the semi-finalist designs and their preferences will be revealed on July 18. The designs will also be provided to the Commission of Fine Arts, Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for their review and comment. The Acting Director of the Mint will make a final recommendation weighing all relevant factors and recommendations. The Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to make the final selection.

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  1. SmallPotatos says

    none of the design really excited me. I like the two ball glove themes, but the “America’s Favorite Pastime” in the ‘Other’ Category would get my vote.

  2. Mint News Blog says

    added this sentence just before the poll to clarify: “Keep in mind that these designs are intended to be used for the concave obverse design and paired with a convex reverse design depicting a baseball.”

  3. GMS says

    Hate to get off topic so early, but looks like a group of the WP that were scheduled to ship on 7/18 are in stock and reserved.

  4. Hawkster says

    high low silver,

    It’s not really Uncle Sam at bat. It’s actually an image of a Washington Nationals player modeling the team’s new style batting helmet.

  5. GMS says

    I realize that, I have many calenders but the 18th isn’t until Thursday and many of us use a debit card for payment so I was informing those who do not to be shocked when your account got hit today. My experience with the mint is that they tend to ship after a posted date rather than before. If this post doesn’t pertain to your situation then just ignore it.

  6. dan says

    Hi Ann

    Liberty is one of the words/phrases that must appear on all US coinage. With LIBERTY is E Pluribus Unum, in God We trust, United States of America, the year and the value of the coin.

  7. plmark says

    Going way off topic …
    The silver dollar will have a diameter of about 38.40 mm as opposed to the normal diameter of 38.74 mm. I came to this conclusion after falling in love with the second coin released in Australia’s southern sky series ( The Australian coin contains one ounce of silver but has a diameter of 39.62 mm instead of 40.00 mm like other Royal Australian Mint coins which contain one ounce of silver. This results in the coin being 0.38 mm shorter; so by estimating, I concluded that our baseball coin will be about 0.34 mm shorter.

  8. high low silver says

    Hawkster: I didn’t think these younger generations knew who Uncle Sam was.

  9. bill b says

    For me ‘the big three’ by far is the best of a pretty weak lot. Glory and proud classic 2nd and 3rd.
    Uncle Sam looks like a Grateful Dead t-shirt!

  10. fmtransmitter says

    They are all dreadful IMHO. Seems like I am back at the polls picking the WORSE canadate..Ugh…

  11. fmtransmitter says

    On topic: What a proud moment, whomever wins this contest, will be to have THEIR own creation minted on Official US currency…

  12. Dustyroads says

    You people never cease to crack me up- You do know kids designed these, right? I do have to admit that none of them looked like a hit to me, but are still cool to say the least.

  13. says

    One of the coins I am most looking forward to next year.

    It was a tough decision but I ended up voting for “A Hand Full of Gold.” I would be pretty happy to see Essence of a Nation’s Pastime, Dad’s Baseball Glove, or Liberty is A Grand Slam. Of the existing designs I felt “A Hand Full of Gold” did by far the best job at exploiting the potential of the concave design of the coin.

    This is definitely one of my most anticipated coins of 2014. I am genuinely surprised at the lack of enthusiasm so far. Last time this topic was brought up it seemed like more people were interested.

  14. Wes says

    Although I do like the Dads Babeball glove on the gold coin I think Glory of the game on the silver coin and half dollar would look the best. The picture doesn’t do it justice. Looks like there would be a lot of detail on the coin.

  15. Two Cents says

    I favor the baseball glove candidates. Large single-element designs are well suited to the small fields of coins (even at the dollar-size). The baseball glove is easily recognized and is one of the three icons of the game (along with the bat and ball). And as Cap brought up, the concave physicality of the glove perfectly matches the concaveness of the coin.

    Out of the two glove designs, I am leaning toward “A Hand Full of Gold.” That design fills up the entire coin field, and the stitching of the glove really pops. I also like the way the letters and numbers are distorted to match the leather contours of the glove. The only things I would eliminate are those distracting laurel leaves, which have nothing to do with baseball and only serve to clutter up the design.

  16. GMS says

    @high low silver: Then by your experience it shouldn’t have been hit until the 18th which was my ship date. I’ve been doing this since the mint started taking online orders and the back order dates have always been an estimate. Also, some folks like myself use a debit card with daily limits which was who my heads up comment was intended for, but thanks for you 2 cents.

  17. Addielise says

    Hand Full of Gold for me, Big Three would probably be ok too but I don’t like the huge lettering. Regardless, none of these really impresses me that much, my initial vote was for Anticipation of a Season which of course was disqualified.

  18. thePhelps says

    I think the only design that ends up making sense for the concave coin is a glove. Given that the other side is a ball and this is about baseball… it is a natural fit. Although I think it would have been better to have the baseball on the Obverse side and the glove on the Reverse side.

    Any of the other designs will not work well…

  19. Don says

    I also favor the baseball glove nominees. But, unlike “Two Cents”, who posted above, I like the “Dad’s Baseball Glove”. This image depicts a vintage baseball mitt–the kind that would have been worn by the inaugural inductees to the Hall.
    Or, maybe I’m just old school.

  20. says


    I agree about the other designs. I like them and would not mind seeing them on a coin, but they appear to be better suited for traditional “flat” style coins. The two baseball glove designs seem like they do the best job of exploiting the “concave” style and I prefer “A Hand Full of Gold” due to the semi-circular “liberty” in the center of the glove – I just thought it was a nice touch.

    It’ll be interesting to see which one of these ultimately gets picked.

  21. Don says


    You’re right. The age 14 and under category had another type of contest going on.

  22. thePhelps says

    Co – the other thing you mentioned was interest. I think the interest is kind of diminished because of the actual coin involved. The reverse design is bland and the Obverse is a contest – which seems to be to pick the least bad design and put it on the coin. I’ll pick up this set – but I am not overly thrilled with any part of it other than the concave coin aspect.

  23. Hawkster says

    Will this Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative spur on the Mint to eventually honor all of the Sports Halls of Fame? Will we see a flat, football-shaped coin for Canton’s NFL Football of Fame? How about an oval, open weave coin to simulate the head of a racquet for the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI? Can a peach basket be depicted on the coin for the Basketball Hall in Springfield, MA? Or, consider a dimpled, convex coin for the Golf Hall of Fame. There is a Hall of Fame for most sports, including badminton, so the possibilities seem endless.

  24. high low silver says

    CO : I just don’t like seeing a surcharge going to a multi- billoin dollar industry. If the players can’t support the hall of fame with the contracts they get, then so be it…….the concave is cool tho…. still like dads glove.

  25. Hawkster says

    high low silver,

    My sentiments, exactly. The HOF is a private organization. If they desired a commemorative coin, they should have commissioned it themselves and made it available on-line and in their gift shop.
    As you expressed, there should not be a surcharge going to the HOF on the Mint produced coin. The HOF will be getting enough in publicity and advertising through this commemorative.

  26. high low silver says

    I figured it was private owned since they charge $20 a head to get in Hawkster…. I have other comms (stone mt. Gettysburg Capitol Dome 9/11 medal ect ect) all free as far as I understand.

  27. GMS says

    Baseball is protected by Congress and has a monopoly, if I’m not mistaken, you can’t start your own competing professional league.

  28. says

    @GMS just checked my order for the WP set and it says Back Ordered and expected to ship on 7/19. The cancel box is there! MY CC has not been charged for this (no pending amount). I will just be HAPPY to get this order in the house and over with. The excitement has kind of worn off! I had hoped to share this over the 4th of July when the grandkids were around. Thanks to DON I did order two sets from the Philadelphia Mint. Ordered late on Tuesday (last week Tuesday) and in hand on Friday morning Fed Ex. They are beautiful!!! WP Mint did an excellent job. I made two other orders last week and one is being shipped today. President Taft!

  29. thePhelps says

    Hawkster there is already a football HOF coin up before congress. I wrote my state senators and told them both – I am all for the coin – not for the idea that coin collectors need to fund these billionaire owners and millionaire players facilities. There is no need for most of the surcharges being put on these commemoratives, and the way they have started to make them PC is ridiculous as well.

  30. thePhelps says

    2fer… my set changed last week to 7/18 ship and this morning – my cancel box went away. I expect my coins to ship in the next day or 2.

  31. Kraw says

    What a bummer, I really liked “Anticipation of a Season”, but ‘the big three’ is ok, definitely not as good in my mind though.

  32. fmtransmitter says

    My 2013 SE Proof came today. Just inspected it closely with the loupe. Bravo, PF 70 all day long. Could not one flaw, very nice. Jesse James begins shipping his graded sets tomorrow. 2 retro black ER 2013 set SE’s 70’s on the way tomorrow! Still on fence with canceling my 9/17 orders..

  33. simon says

    That ***** Generals Profile Set is online. Certainly looks very interesting *!*!*!*!*!

  34. Louis says

    I was rather disappointed with the choices too. If you compare them to the kind of artwork and engraving on many foreign coins, they are really lackluster. Look at the new JFK coin from Ireland, which I received today. That is the kind of coin we should be issuing.

  35. Louis says

    Thanks, FM. If you don’t mind me asking, did you get the set, or just the silver coin? I went with the silver only as I am getting hammered by all these new coins. They seem to be doing pretty well on e-Bay. It’s amazing how life-like the artwork is.

  36. Hidalgo says

    @thePhelps – always check your credit card. The US Mint will not charge your credit card until your product ships. When it ships, you can also check your emails. The US Mint will notify you when your product ships.

  37. Smiledon says

    I agree that the surcharge I am willing to pay should not help out people that make more in a week then I will make in years. Granted the money will go to the the hall of fame that I can visit, but still, it does bother me. Besides, how many people here in this blog can ever be in the NFL?
    As a side note, wonder if they will put a woman on the coin,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  38. says


    As others have mentioned a Football Hall of Fame coin is already in the works as well. I am looking forward to that one as well because I am hoping for another coin with an unusual/exotic shape… though I prefer the idea of the upcoming baseball coin because I am baseball fan.


    I thought some of the designs were amateurish, but I honestly was impressed by Hand Full of Gold. I think people should see what design is ultimately picked and give it a chance before passing judgement. There have been coins in the past I expected to look bad or bland but didn’t because the mint did an exceptionally good job with it (such as this year’s Five Star Generals proof silver coin).

    I ordered the Irish two coin Kennedy set you mentioned, BTW, and am anxiously awaiting its arrival!

    While I agree to some extent about criticisms a few people are making of money going to organizations that don’t need it like the Halls of Fame, I think to some extent this charge can be levied at most organizations the mint has produced coins for. Do the Boy or Girl Scouts of America really need support from the mint? I have always had a problem with this aspect of the commemorative coin program. I don’t complain too much about it, though, because it has led to some pretty good pieces overall which might not necessarily have been made otherwise.

  39. Hidalgo says

    @wdg5. I don’t see much excitement about the Alice Paul coin selling out. The number sold was higher than the lowest low. I can’t see much demand for it either.

  40. Brad says


    True, but the Alice Paul does set a new mintage low among the proof series of coins. I had guessed the Mint struck half of the limit, or 6,500 coins total. If 3,500 were proofs, then there might be 3,000 uncs. I’m betting the mintages are the same for all four 2012 designs. Time will tell.

  41. David Collins says

    The problem with the glove designs are the glovea will be disproportionately smaller than the baseball on the other which will just look odd.

  42. David Collins says

    Also, did you see where the baseball was placed for The Big Three. It’s at the end of the bat which means the batter is going to ground out to short or third. Why the artist didn’t put the ball in the sweet spot of the bat is beyond me.

  43. Hawkster says

    Captain Overkill,

    Yes, the very recent commemoratives done for both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts also helped support private organizations through the Mint’s surcharge to buyers. But, I don’t have much of a problem with surcharges going to these organizations, as they are staffed largely with volunteers who work directly with the Scouts. So, in effect, the surcharge is helping our youths.

  44. thePhelps says

    Hawkster… perhaps in the old days the scouts were volunteers… not so much anymore.

    I suggest people wrtie to their Senators and request a removal of these surcharges – especially when organizations like the NFL and Baseball are churning billions of dolars – why do they need us to send them as much as $35 a coin? Put a surcharge on players salaries or ticket sells and fund the halls of fames…

  45. CW says

    For whatever reason I keep seeing Axl Rose instead of Uncle Sam hitting a baseball in the last one. It has a certain creepiness that I like.

  46. Smiledon says

    I, as a rule, do not mind paying that surcharge. Most of those organizations need/can use the help. However, the NFL, MLB hall of fame buildings are not that hard pressed for the help. To my knowledge, people will go out of their way to visit them. But how do you ask Congress to not give money to the NFL, MLB hall of fame organizations, and then to others? My vote would be to not honor an organization that <.01% of the total population could make it to. With that said, since I collect the coins that I like, I may get them. If not, I will not be helping the NFL, and MLB. Helping the War college museum, the US Army's infantry museum, the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and anything else I happen to believe in. Really, in my humble opinion, what needs to stop is the PC that has infected what we now honor.

  47. Blair J. Tobler says

    Wasn’t a bill introduced not too long ago seeking to forbid surcharges on commemorative coin programs? If anyone can refresh my memory, I sure would appreciate it.

  48. Samuel says

    if it were me, i would design a glove-shaped coin, not round shaped, with a ball in the middle

  49. VARich says

    Blair –

    Commemorative Coins Reform Act of 2013 – Prohibits surcharges generated by the sale of any numismatic item or commemorative coin program from being paid to a non-federal organization, except with respect to sales and production costs.
    Requires that surcharges be used to recover all numismatic operation and program costs allocable to the program under which a numismatic item is produced and sold.
    Requires the transfer of any excess surcharges to the general fund of the Treasury for deficit reduction purposes.

  50. says

    Mike, it sure would be great IF the mint would release some info for us Spouse collector’s…….my spouse gold fund dribbling away on other stuff !

  51. fmtransmitter says

    The CCRA of 2013 in March did not pass and is NOT a law…I would need to read the entire written proposal as our Reps have a way of sliding into home base their pork bellies, whether to support this or not.

  52. Blair J. Tobler says

    Thanks VARich! That’s the one I was thinking about

    FM – I’m not too surprised it didn’t pass – a lot of congressmen see these commemorative programs as a way to show their constituents that they care about the organizations and institutions in their states and are not likely to want to see them go away (financially, anyway)

  53. thePhelps says

    fm – it doesn’t look like the bill has been brought to the house for a vote. The summary indicates it has a 4% chance of even doing that. The bill is pretty simplistic and there isn’t anything in it to be called pork that I could read. It reads like they are kind of fed up with the surcharges as well. So while it hasn’t passed – it also has been dismissed.

    I can see where there may be push to not do commemoratives at some point – if they are going to be PC coins and added surcharges. I may just start buying mine on the secondary market and not giving my money to the “charities” involved.

  54. fmtransmitter says

    Agreed the Phelps..Speaking of secondary market, Jesse James Rare Coins has a huge picture of all his retro graded SE sets that arrived today. COOL picture! My invocie has been paid and cannot wait to get this set behind me, too much drama! I can’t stand drama. Take a look at this picture he just put up if you get a chance, it is awsome. Just search him on FB.

  55. Hawkster says


    Regardless of whether you buy these private organization commems directly from the Mint or on the secondary market, aren’t you incurring a surcharge anyway? The only difference is the secondary market seller is, in effect, indirectly passing on the surcharge to you through his sale price.

    Let’s face it: this is a win-win situation for private organizations like the Baseball HOF. Since they are not spending money to commission and market the commemorative themselves, there is no risk on their part. They simply reap the rewards.

  56. Dan in Fla says

    Has anyone seen the 5 Star generals package that is coming out 8/5/13? It will have the Uncirculated silver dollar and the half dollar in clad. It will also have a bronze medallion and the price is $74.95 each..

  57. high low silver says

    Hawkster : I like the coin, but I don’t want to support the HOF for any sport agenda theme….. If I can get it in 2018 for less than issue price……I’m in for it cause I like to collect coins as a hobby.

  58. thePhelps says

    Hawkster – the secondary sellers are going to buy the coins regardless. If I buy from them, I am 1 less person buying from the mint. Today the secondary market and I buy, in the future – I won’t send the money to the mint and 1 less set is added to the surcharges. If others follow suit, the mint will lose buyers in a market they already are struggling to find them in.

    Your analysis is exactly why I don’t support the surcharge. What do they have to do with commemorative coinage? Nothing, and yet they are being pushed forward to reap a benefit for absolutely no investment on their part. It is free cash money, at the taxpayers and collectors expense.

  59. thePhelps says

    Dan in Fla… I am on the fence on the Generals set. I have both of the coins already, and I am hugely disappointed in the half dollar quality. The profiles and the bronze medallion would be the only reason I buy the set… and $80 is a tough sell after all the cash the mint has got from me as silver drops this year…

  60. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Dad’s baseball glove by a longshot.
    it will go good with the 2013 Pres Set, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft and “Wood”row Wilson. 1897 to 1921. That was the dawn of the baseball era when stadiums were getting larger ansd larger. the Golden Age of Baseball. Just looking at their faces on the coins, makes you think “baseball”.

    still haven’t rec’d my Enhanced Eagle set where is it????!!!!!!!

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