U.S. House of Representatives Passes Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act

October 26, 2011

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has spent the last seven decades celebrating and honoring the history of the National Pastime.

This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved by a vote of 416 to 3 the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (HR 2527), legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to produce a series of commemorative coins honoring the 75th Anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Introduced on July 14, 2011 by Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY), Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), the Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act earned broad bipartisan support, including co-sponsorship by 296 Members of Congress.

“The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act unites every fan of the game in celebrating the timelessness of America's pastime," said Jeff Idelson, President, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "As the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014, the Coin Act will connect every generation in commemorating the impact Cooperstown has had on the national landscape, honoring our baseball heroes while educating future generations on the historical significance of the game and its lore.

"We are thankful to the House for acknowledging the impact of our institutional mission across generations. The Coin Act will allow every fan to join the milestone anniversary and help support future educational outreach for an American shrine."

Spencer Bachus (R-AL), House Financial Services Committee Chairman on the coin bill, added: “The National Baseball Hall of Fame, in addition to honoring legends like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays from my home state of Alabama, has an educational mission that teaches lessons that go beyond the world of sports. With an exciting World Series coming to a peak, it’s an especially appropriate time to recognize the Hall of Fame’s work in preserving the storied history of our national pastime.”

Congressman Hanna noted that, “as the congressman from Cooperstown and past resident of the village, I am privileged to sponsor this legislation which has broad bipartisan support. Baseball, America’s national pastime, proudly has roots in Upstate New York. I am pleased I could facilitate this timely honor for the baseball community throughout the world.

"Baseball is an important part of our national culture. It's a sport that's uniquely American, and millions of Americans follow it intensely. The Baseball Hall of Fame provides an important national function as the repository of baseball history and artifacts, and the Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act will provide important support to this beloved institution."

Specifically, the Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act directs the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue not more than 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 during a one year period beginning on January 1, 2015. Surcharges from the sale of these coins will be paid to the National Baseball Hall of Fame to assist in financing its operations. This measure is in compliance with the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 – there is no cost to the U.S. Treasury or the U.S. taxpayer.

The next step for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act is in the U.S. Senate, where Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will be teaming up with Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) to introduce bipartisan companion legislation. The sponsors of this legislation are working to have this legislation on the President’s desk this fall.

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.

“It is a great institution, which more than 15 million people have visited since it was established back in 1939,” Barton said. “I hope to take my two sons and grandsons to the Baseball Hall of Fame very soon. The history of America is on display there - from Babe Ruth of yester year to my childhood heroes, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Then there are those who were greats on the field and are now greats in the front office like Nolan Ryan. Someday it will be home to the heroes of the 2011 Fall Classic. Albert Pujols is an amazing player who will certainly one day be enshrined in Cooperstown and maybe – if they keep playing like this – some of my Texas Rangers like Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton or Mike Napoli will be inducted.

“This bill is a win-win. We can celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame with a timeless keepsake and do it at no cost to the taxpayer. And GO Rangers. Let’s bring home our first World Series title!”