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If you enjoy baseball, this convex coin is perfect for your memorabilia display! Order today!
Designed by artist Steve Hepburn, your coin deftly combines art and technology to re-create a historic sports moment. Paired with engraved stitchwork, the coin’s curvature transforms the reverse into a baseball-shaped canvas fit for commemorating the most detailed earliest documented game played in Canada. The highly detailed, precisely engraved image provides a prime view of the action during the match, which took place on June 4, 1838, in Beachville, Ont. As seen from behind the “knocker’s stone” (home plate today), the participants from Beachville and Zorra are all in position: one team stands in the open field, ready to catch the ball; a “knocker” (batter) from the opposing team grips the “club” (bat) as he keeps his focus on the ball tossed by the “thrower” (pitcher); to the right of him, an “umpire” leans in to rule whether the ball is “fair” or “unfair.” At their feet, the denomination “25 Dollars” is engraved in a vintage-looking font; in the arched banner above, the double commemorative dates “1838” and “2018” flank a rendering of the equipment used in that era: two clubs (crossed) and a yarn ball covered by stitched calfskin.
Baseball did not originate in Canada, but it does have a long history here. The proof lies in one of the most detailed published accounts of a game that took place on June 4, 1838, in Beachville, Ont., as recalled by Dr. Adam Ford in the May 5, 1886 issue of Sporting Life.
There are earlier accounts of baseball-type games but generally only as accidental references in diaries, news stories, or municipal ordinances, and with little or no detail as to the game’s play. Baseball type activity has been recorded as early as 1803 in Canada, and most significantly in Hamilton (Upper Canada)in 1819 on the same 4 June date further validating Ford’s account of the game’s place as part of the events surrounding Militia Muster Day and the celebration of George III’s birthday.
References to what was later dubbed the old-fashioned game appear in the 18th century in what became the United States, but even earlier than that in England and Europe. Its institutional formalization with rules close to the contemporary game would not occur until the 1840s led by its proponents in New York City, while its commercial and organizational modernization was a decade or two later. Contempraneous with its modernization in the United States was the development and growth of the game in Canada, suggesting that citizens of the two countries were partners in every stage of baseball’s ultimate evolution to mainstream popular appeal. On June 4, 1838, citizens of Beachville and Zorra (both in Oxford County, southwestern Ontario) took part in a friendly match that bears many similarities to today’s game, but with a few notable differences in regards to equipment and game play.
Softer and somewhat smaller than those used today, the baseball was made of twisted yarn covered with a layer of calfskin, and sewn by a local shoemaker. The “club” (bat) was crafted from cedar and hand hewn—although Ford stated, “a wagon spoke, or any nice straight stick would do.”
The playing field itself was square-shaped with five “byes”: four bases plus a home plate known as the “knocker’s stone.” In each inning, every team member had his turn as the “knocker” (batter), to whom the “thrower” (pitcher) would toss the ball within easy reach. Base running involved moving from “bye” to “bye”, although not necessarily in a straight line. Ford’s account also mentioned the practice of “plugging” (not tagging) a player off base by hitting him with the ball — a play that was common elsewhere but is often associated with “The Canadian Game,” which was played in southwestern Ontario until the 1860s and further west, where settlers brought the game with them.
Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.
Category: Numismatic, RCM, Royal Canadian Mint, Silver