Washington, D.C. — With Major League Baseball’s season–long celebration of baseball legend Jackie Robinson underway, the United States Mint will soon release Congressionally authorized gold and silver commemorative coins as a tribute to his many accomplishments.
Fifty years ago, Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball; now he will be the first African–American to be honored on a gold U.S. commemorative coin.
“A place on the nation’s coinage is one of the highest tributes we bestow on one of our own,” said Mint Director Philip Diehl. “This program commemorates a remarkable, unforgettable American who elevated both our National Pastime and our national ideals.”
“My family and I are honored and pleased to have Jack as the first African– American to be honored with a gold commemorative coin. While Jack has many accomplishments during his baseball career, I am particularly gratified that he is being recognized for his contributions and leadership throughout life,” said Rachel Robinson, wife of the legendary baseball hero and civil rights leader.
One hundred thousand gold coins are being struck at the West Point Mint, and 200,000 silver dollars at the San Francisco Mint. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coins will benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which supports educational and leadership programs to encourage, train and motivate minority youth.
The obverse of the gold five dollar coin, by Mint Sculptor/Engraver William Cousins, depicts Robinson in his later years as a civil rights leader and political activist. The reverse, by Mint Graphic Designer Jim Peed is a baseball design, with the years of Robinson’s life, 1919–1972, and the inscription, “Legacy of Courage,” in the center.
The obverse of the silver dollar coin, by Mint Sculptor Al Maletsky, depicts Robinson stealing home plate, as he did during a 1955 World Series game between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The silver reverse, by Mint Sculptor/Engraver T. James Ferrell, features the 50th anniversary logo of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, surrounded by inscriptions highlighting two of Robinson’s achievements: “Rookie of the Year 1947,” and “Hall of Fame 1962.” An identical commemorative patch is being worn by all Major League Baseball players during this season.
Pre–issues prices of $33 for the proof silver dollar, and $30 for uncirculated silver dollar; $195 for the proof five dollar gold coin, and $180 for the uncirculated five dollar gold coin; $217 for the two–coin proof set, and $425 for the four–coin proof and uncirculated set — which is limited to 10,000 sets — are in effect from July 3 to August 15.
After August 15, the proof silver dollar is $37, and the uncirculated silver dollar is $32; the proof five dollar gold coin is $225 and the uncirculated five dollar gold coin is $205; the two–coin set is $240, and the four–coin set $460.
The bill to authorize the Jackie Robinson commemorative coins was introduced in the House of Representatives under the leadership of Representatives Floyd Flake (D–NY) and Robert Franks (R–NJ). Senate backers included Alfonse D’Amato (R–NY) and Carol Moseley– Braun (D–IL).
For information about how to purchase the Jackie Robinson Commemorative Coins, call 1–800–MINT–USA.