Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today introduced in the Senate the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, legislation to mint gold, silver and clad coins by the U.S. Treasury in honor of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (NY-24) introduced the House version of the legislation, which passed in October by a vote of 416 to 3.
Additionally, Senator Gillibrand is urging the Treasury Department to mint the coins at the U.S. Mint at West Point, which is currently the nation’s primary producer of the gold and silver coinage called for in the bill.
“For nearly 75 years, Americans have been visiting our very own Cooperstown to honor the legends of America’s pastime,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act will build on the recognition Cooperstown deserves, honor its history, and help draw more Americans to visit this truly magical place in upstate New York. And there’s no better place to mint these coins than West Point.”
“I am privileged to represent Cooperstown and I thank Senator Gillibrand for introducing this legislation in the Senate,” Representative Hanna said. “As a past 10-year resident of Cooperstown, sponsoring this bill in the House was especially meaningful for me. This cost-free legislation passed the House with overwhelmingly bipartisan support and proves that the love of baseball – our national pastime – is a common bond.”
“As we near our 75th anniversary in 2014 the Hall of Fame is thankful to Senator Gillibrand for introducing this bill, it will surely bring awareness and potential visitors to central New York in future years. The support of all citizens to celebrate baseball’s history will bolster the American spirit for years to come,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act unites every fan of the game in celebrating the timelessness of America’s pastime. The legislation provides all baseball fans around the globe with the opportunity to celebrate Cooperstown and the important role this institution has played in preserving the history of our national pastime.”
The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act directs the Secretary of the Treasury to mint 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half dollar coins in recognition of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum during a one-year period starting January 1, 2015. Production of the coins is financed by their subsequent sale, ensuring no cost to taxpayers to mint these coins. Joining Senator Gillibrand in introducing the bipartisan legislation to the Senate are Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent not-for-profit educational institution, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.
Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner:
Dear Secretary Geithner,
I recently introduced legislation to direct the minting of commemorative coins to honor the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in 2014. When this legislation is passed, as I’m confident it will be, I urge you to designate the United States Mint at West Point as the principal production facility for the gold and silver coins required under the act.
Currently, the West Point Mint is the primary producer of the 22k and 24k gold coins and silver coinage specified in the Act and has the demonstrated record of high quality production that will be needed to produce the unique design of this coin, which will feature a convex reverse side designed to resemble a baseball. The Mint’s work has been internationally recognized as the best coinage of its kind and I am confident would be best suited to produce this new commemorative. Additionally, the Mint’s close proximity to the Hall of Fame provides a natural site to connect the site of the coins production and the location it is meant to honor.
When this bill is enacted, I hope that you will ensure that the West Point Mint is designated to produce this unique coin to honor the Hall of Fame and America’s national pastime. Should you have any questions, please contact Kevin Fink of my staff at 202-224-4451.