NEW YORK — The Negro League Baseball Museum is beginning one of its most important initiatives to date. Starting Thursday, the first US Mint Coins honoring the Negro Leagues are on sale.
The coins are being minted in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, which started in 1920 and ended in 1960. According to the United States Mint's website, Public Law 116-209, which authorized the commemorative coin program, requires the coins to be emblematic of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and its mission to promote tolerance, diversity and inclusion.
“To get these coins is highly competitive. There are a lot of great institutions who are vying to be in this position we are in now. We were very fortunate to come in on the winning side,” said NLBM president Bob Kendrick via telephone. “Then you throw in the fact that you have to get three-fourths of Congress to sign off [on the coins] before this can actually become law. … It was perhaps the winning spirit of the Negro Leagues that brought both sides to the aisle.”
The coins will turn heads. For example, one gold coin has the likeness of Rube Foster, the founder of the Negro Leagues. It has his signature on the coin and the inscriptions are “NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “2022” and “LIBERTY.” One can purchase the coin for $674.
There is a silver coin which has a depiction of a pitcher in mid-throw with the baseball in the foreground and baseball stitching as a border. The coin is going for $74.
The sale of the coins could become a game changer for NLBM.
One of the most important initiatives in NLBM history starts tomorrow when the first-ever @usmint coins honoring the Negro Leagues go on sale at 11 am CST! Your support can literally CHANGE the future of the NLBM. Visit https://t.co/dO57TJxB6n for details! @MLB @KSHB41 @fox4kc RT pic.twitter.com/ZzoKFEAFKO
“Moving from the prestige of getting the coins, there is a real financial possibility associated with the sale of these coins,” Kendrick said. “If [we] are able to move through the full allotment as granted by the legislation, we could [raise] nearly $6 million from surcharges from these coins.”
Fans can visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City on East 18th Street, between Vine Street and Highland Avenue, just across from the Gem Theater. The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with increased sanitizing every day. Masks are still required when one enters the Museum.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is a privately funded, non-profit organization. Annually renewing memberships to support the museum are available, ranging from $25 to $1,000. Membership includes free admission for the year, a 10% discount on merchandise from the NLBM Extra Inning Store and advance information on special events. Members also receive a gift and additional benefits at each level of support.
The coins honoring the Negro Leagues can be bought via the US Mint website.
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