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Home run medal idea or pop out?

When I was a kid back in the 1960s, I collected coins.

I also collected baseball cards.

I remember heading off to a local retailer in the summertime we kids called the little store, as opposed to the supermarket some distance away.

At the little store, I would tender my nickel or dime for a pack or two of baseball cards.

I wondered what players I would get.

The mystery was part of the appeal of buying a pack.

Would I get the card of a great player like Mickey Mantle, or would I get a card of a player I didn’t even know who played for a team I didn’t root for?

It was exciting.

Now that summertime 2018 is nearly upon us and the baseball season is in full swing, we can ask whether the appeal of the baseball card and coin hobbies can be merged.

A firm called Baseball Treasure has created 30 one-ounce copper medals, one player from each team, that it calls coins and is selling them.

The medals are licensed by Major League Baseball, so you know this is serious.

The question is, will potential customers like to buy unknown medals as we once bought baseball cards?

You can buy a pack of three one-ounce copper medals for $19.99.

That price is a bit more than the nickel for five cards from my childhood.

A six-pack is $39.99. A pack of nine is $59.99.

You can even buy a case containing 432 packs for $2,999.99.

But there is a further inducement to potential buyers.

The desire to get a favorite player is augmented by the possibility of getting a silver or a gold medal instead of a copper one.

Do you think you would be lucky enough to get the more valuable pieces?

The firm says the odds of obtaining a .999 fine silver version of the medal are one in 432.

It is probably no accident that you can get 432 in the $2,999.99 case.

The odds of getting a gold medal are one in 21,600.

Who will be a buyer of these baseball medals?

More importantly, will those who are inclined to buy these medals become coin collectors as a result?

We old-time coin collectors are often asked to think outside the box to find the future of the hobby.

Perhaps the future of numismatics is to be found in a box of these baseball medals.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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