U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss) today announced his support of minting commemorative coins in honor of baseball, the national pastime that holds historical significance by being a part of the American story as early as the Civil War-era.
Cochran is cosponsoring the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (S.2036), which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue commemorative $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins and half-dollar clad coins in recognition of the 75th anniversary Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. If enacted, the measure stipulates that the coins would be available to the public for one year, beginning in January 2015. The legislation has no cost to taxpayers or the U.S. Treasury.
"Minting these coins will allow the public to show its support for baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame that honors notable athletes who have contributed to the American pastime," Cochran said.
Proceeds from the commemorative coins will be shared with the not-for-profit National Baseball Hall of Fame to support its presentation of historic baseball artifacts, photographs, documents, film and audio tapes. The coins will also help support the Hall's educational programs.
The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum first opened in 1939 with the induction of five American inspirations, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth.
Two Mississippians have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. James "Cool Papa" Bell, a Starkville native best known as a center fielder for the St. Louis Stars, was elected by the Negro Leagues Commission for induction in 1974. William H. Foster, a pitcher from Rodney, Miss., was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Veterans Committee.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), has the bipartisan support of 69 cosponsors. This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.