Hey, are you a baseball fan as well as a coin collector? If the answer is yes, baseball coins are like pieces of heaven for you. Yes, you heard it right Baseball Coins, the ones that have been published officially. Having these in ones’ collection is a matter of pride. But do not worry, if you don’t have possession of any of these yet, there is no harm in learning about it, Right? So let us begin from the past…
Beginning from the Past About the Baseball Coins
Learning about the history of your favorite sport is always exciting for a sports enthusiast. But you know what is more memorable? It knows something about their favorite sport that can be commemorated in the future. So what are baseball coins exactly, and what makes them so unique? The Baseball coins are small discs that have been issued purposely for some product promotion. Every coin features famous Baseball stars who were very relevant when the coins were published.
Now you may wonder why it was associated with any company product? Well, let us think about it in this way. The majority of us are fans of some sportsperson. Be it in any sport like soccer, baseball, cricket, and many others. When they perform exceptionally well, we often find them in various advertisements of products. This is a marketing strategy.
Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the United States of America. So, when a player performs very well in a particular league, his popularity skyrockets. The various brands during that time publish baseball coins with pictures of those players and their product names. Given the massive popularity of the player, the coins get sold like hotcakes, eventually giving the brands mileage in marketing their product.
Rarity of the Baseball Coins
The baseball coins first became popular in 1964, when the company “Topps” first introduced them in the market. The metal coins measured around one and a half inches in diameter. The front edge is rolled up to provide a feeling of a bit of apotheosis, with the portrait of the player embossed in the center. The coin’s backside has the player’s personal information that is represented as the coin number.
The set that was issued in the year 1964 was divided into series. The series was as follows:
- The Regular Series: It comprised of 1 to 120
- The All-Star Series: Comprising of 121 to 164
- The entire set: Was made combining the two series published in 1964 by Topps
Now you may be wondering how these sets are determined? The standard set we already mentioned had players from the National League. The distinctive feature was that those coins had silverbacks. Since the set comprised 120 coins, the other 60 were players from the American League, and the gold backside of the coins could identify those.
For this set, how many series were specifically issued has got no solid data, but from various auctions and sales, what has been found is that some coins have been scarce in some specific areas. The coins of players like Mantle, Aaron, Rose, Banks, and Drysdale have explicitly been rare. One reason behind this is that the company specifically issued them in low quantities to keep up the “hype”. The scarcity resulted in making some of these baseball coins “Rare”.
For the All-star set of the baseball coins, there were two subcategories. The American League star players had blue coins with gold backs, and the National League players had red coins with silverbacks. A slight discrepancy was observed in the first issued Wayne Causey and Chuck Hinton coins in this set. But later, it was corrected. However, since already some coins had been issued and circulated and later discontinued, the primarily issued ones became significantly “rare and scarce.”
Another set of baseball coins was released by the company “Topps.” This set contained 153 coins issued in the year 1971. The players depicted on these baseball coins were some of the greatest players during that time. However, according to the connoisseurs, these baseball coins were mid-grade compared to all other metal baseball coins published so far.
Another type of coin published for three years consecutively is the Armour Baseball Coins. It was released in 1955, 1959, and 1960, respectively. These coins with baseball players’ portraits engraved in each were inserted in the Armour hot-dog products as a marketing strategy. These baseball coins were not metallic but were made of plastic that came in different colors. Some colors like dark blue, gold, tan, and a few others were deliberately made scarce to keep up the hype. The color-coding of these coins was the factor that determined the challenge in collecting a whole set.
The most popular Baseball Coin
The popularity of everything changes from time to time, let alone coins! If we consider the most popular coins presently, it has to be undoubted “The National Baseball Hall Of Fame” baseball coin. The coin’s value is $1, made of pure silver. It was issued by the U.S. Mint, in the year 2014, as memorabilia to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The distinctive feature that makes this baseball coin stand out is its structure. This coin is not flat but curved to replicate the shape of a baseball. The shape has been made so intelligently that in the obverse, it appears concave, and in reverse, it looks like a convex face. We are used to coins that are small flat discs. More specifications about the commemorative coin can be found on the official page.
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Surcharge of the Commemorative Baseball Coin
The value for each silver coin is specified to be $10. Although the coin’s value is $1, it is evident that it comes with a “Surcharge.” These charges, referred to as Surcharges, are levied upon such items to collect cash that could be used to fund various organizations and events. The fund is supposed to be collected by the National Hall of Fame and later used for a noble cause.
Also, as issued by the public law, the coins can be issued by the U.S. Mint only for a specified time, after which the issuing of the coins shall be discontinued.
Expensive Baseball Coin
The most expensive baseball coin cannot be explicitly answered. But if considered generically, the commemorative National Hall Of Fame coin that is made of gold sells at $35 each. The coin’s value is $5, but as already mentioned, the surcharge levied on it makes it to be $35 each.
However, if the sales on eBay were to be taken into account, the most expensive Armour coin that was sold was worth $3350, which was a 1955 Mantle correct L-R made of silver.
FAQs on Baseball Coins
What are the inscriptions found on the Commemorative Baseball Coin?
The inscriptions found on the two sides of the coin are different. The ones found on the obverse side are “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and the year of issuing that is “2014”.
The one that is found on the reverse side is “United States Of America”,
“E PLURIBUS UNUM” and of course the value “One Dollar”.
Are there Baseball coins from individual teams?
Yes, there is. And if individual teams’ coin issue is considered, then it dates back to the year 1926. The baseball team St. Louis Cardinals issued their first-ever baseball coin in 1926, with a symbol of their team engraved on it.
Are stamped balls worth anything?
We won’t say the answer is “No”, but you need to understand when an athlete or a player signs or gives his autograph on a ball, the value shoots up in the sky. This, however, is not the case with stamped or pre-printed balls. The balls are much less in worth when compared to authentic ones.