KANSAS CITY – Lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation directing the U.S. Mint produce Negro Leagues baseball commemorative coins in 2021.
Commemorative coins can be used for purchases, but their value is that they are collectible. The cost to buy one far exceeds the numerical value of the coin.
The plan to issue the coin, in part, is meant to honor players from the Negro Leagues, which consisted of baseball players from the segregation era who could not play ball with white players. In the Kansas City area, Satchel Paige of the Monarchs ranked among the league’s best players. Late in his career, Paige helped break the color boundary by playing Major League Baseball for teams, including the St. Louis Browns. In 1971, he became the first selectee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Another Monarchs player and later manager, Buck O’Neil, led the effort to start the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Sens. Roy Blunt and Tim Kain, and House members Emanuel Cleaver II and Steve Stivers introduced the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. Based on the act, the U.S. Mint would print up to 50,000 gold coins with a $5 denomination; up to 400,000 $1 silver coins; and up to 750,000 half-dollar clad coins. All coins would be “legal tender.” The price of each coin, or set of coins, has not been established.