After canceling the announcement of the winning design for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin competition because of the government shutdown, the U.S. Mint posted the information on their website yesterday with little fanfare.The winning design was submitted by Cassie McFarland of San Luis Obispo, California. McFarland, who is from the Sacramento area, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California Polytechnic State University told The Sacramento Bee that she stumbled upon the competition while researching coins for another art project. McFarland found the U.S. Mint’s call for design two days before the deadline and submitted a drawing.
In sperate meetings, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee both recommended McFarland’s design for the coin. These recommendations were forwarded to Secretary of the Treasury Jacob “Jack” Lew for the final decision. It is being reported that the selection was made on September 4, 2013.For submitting the winning design, McFarland will receive $5,000 as authorized by the “National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act” (Public Law 112-152 [PDF] Section 4(c)(4)). McFarland’s prize will be included in the price of the coins as per the requirements of the law.
U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart will do the engraving of McFarland’s winning design. Everhart created the reverse design.
Originally, the U.S. Mint had scheduled this announcement at the capital on October 8, 2013. The event was cancelled because of the shutdown of the government. Even though the U.S. Mint is fully operational because it is funded by the seignorage earned by the sales of the coins it produces, support services necessary for the U.S. Mint to make the announcement elsewhere were not available. A local suggestion to hold a ceremony at Nationals Park was quickly discounted since security services could not support the event. Remember, the Washington, D.C. budget is held hostage by congress because of antediluvian laws preventing the United States citizens living in the nation’s capital from governing themselves.
This was not my favorite design. My favorite was “The Big Three,” an image of a left-handed better swinging at a pitch with the catcher ready to catch the ball and the umpire behind him. In fact, I though could be improved, so I did a mock-up of “The Big Three” portrait with the elements around the image from the coin “The proud American classic” to come up with something I liked better.
Admittedly, McFarland’s design works better on the curved coin where other designs would look better on a flat coin. While the renderings makes the coins intriguing, it will be interesting to see how the coin looks in hand. Hopefully, the government will be open for the launch ceremony which is likely to be held at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Can you offer a suggestion as to who I can approach to offer an idea for a commemorative dollar? I would like to propose the mint issue a coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first ever heart transplant in 2017. My hope is to get more people aware of the need of people to sign up for the donor list to make more organs available. A donor sign up card could be included with each order. Proceeds could fund awareness program and I am certain sales would be substantial as organ recipients alone number over 27,000 each year. In addition medical personnel involved in performing transplants would total thousands more. These are people who may not currently be active collectors but have the income which would allow them to become active collectors in the future. The coins would also make for an appropriate gift for recipients to present to the families of donors. The increased awareness would lead to more potential donors which would certainly benefit society as a whole and save lives in the future. These coins would show appreciation to the heroes who make these life saving operations possible.