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Take me out to the ball game

Is there an original talent out there who will win the U.S. Mint’s design competition for a baseball commemorative coin?

Starting April 11 U.S. citizens and permanent residents ages 14 and older will have the opportunity to submit entries for a design that will be the obverse of all three 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins, a gold $5, silver dollar and clad half dollar.

The competition will be open until May 11 or until the Mint receives 10,000 submissions.

A prize of $5,000 will go to the winner and his or her initials will appear on the struck coins.

The reverse of the $5 gold piece and silver dollar coins will be convex, or bulged out to give the already selected reverse design of the surface of a baseball a 3-D look.

That means the obverse design will be concave, or looking like a shallow bowl, perhaps opening the door to great design difficulty or creativity.

I wish all entrants good luck. They will need it. Perhaps they will need a lawyer.

The competition’s boiler plate rules make filling out the federal income tax forms look easy.

It is understandable. So much about professional baseball is copyrighted and is subject to commercial claims.

Those with long memories will remember the hullabaloo over the 1992 Olympic silver dollar depicting a baseball pitcher and its resemblance to a baseball card.

In short, this makes what could be a good idea of a design competition into a public relations problem.

There is a kids competition also for those 13 years old and under, but I have visions of parents becoming frustrated trying to explain legalese to would-be artists in the three age groups of 5 and under, 6 to 10 and 11 to 13.

What a child sees and is attracted to, a favorite player or team, is strictly forbidden along with much else.

Kids might decide it would be more fun to draw a football instead.

Top prize for the kids will be silver dollar commemorative coins and publicity.

Check out the rules at:

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."