180th Anniversary of Canadian Baseball - 2018 Canada Pure Silver Convex Coin - Royal Canadian Mint
If you enjoy baseball, this convex coin is perfect for your memorabilia display! Order today!
- CELEBRATE BASEBALL HISTORY IN CANADA! Your coin is a special commemoration of the 180th anniversary of the first detailed record of a baseball game played in Canada!
- YOUR CONVEX COIN LOOKS LIKE A BASEBALL! The curvature of your convex-shaped coin results in an unusually shaped, pure silver canvas for our baseball-themed celebration. The addition of engraved “stitchwork” completes the effect—your coin looks like a baseball!
- ARTISTIC REPRESENTATION OF THE 1838 GAME! In this artistic representation of the 1838 game played in Beachville, Ont., you are positioned at the heart of the action, from just behind the “knocker’s stone” (home plate today),
- MODERN CRAFTSMANSHIP BUT AN OLD-TIME FEELING! Modern engraving techniques and cutting-edge technology allow for a wealth of engraved details in an image that has a remarkably vintage feel! The historic nature of the celebration isn’t lost in many of the other design elements—including the choice of font and a closer view of the equipment used at that time.
- DOUBLE DATED! The double commemorative dates “1838” and “2018” on your coin celebrate the anniversary!
- VINTAGE LOOKING FONT! On your coin, the denomination “25 Dollars” is engraved in a vintage-looking font!
- INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE! The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins. Most of these are serialized certifications, meaning that each certificate is given a unique number, starting at 1.
- LOW MINTAGE! Only 5,000 coins will be made available worldwide. Hurry and order yours today before they are all gone!
- 99.99% PURE SILVER COIN! Your coin has no GST/HST!
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.
- June 4th, 1838 was a holiday! As decreed by the Statues of Upper Canada in 1793, the Militia Muster Day was held every year on the observed date of King George III’s birthday—and that particular date happened to be the late king’s 100th birthday. There is another connection between baseball and the king: a letter written in 1748 describes a game of “base-ball” played by Frederick of Hanover and his family, including his eldest son: the future King George III.
- Dr. Ford’s account of the 1838 Beachville game hints at baseball’s earlier roots in Canada with his reference to “greyheaded men” who guided the play based on “the way they used to play when they were boys.”
- The first printed mention of “base-ball” appeared in the 1744 children’s book, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, intended for the Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly with Two Letters from Jack the Giant Killer.
- There is ample evidence that earlier baseball-type sports were played across Canada—including an 1841 Nova Scotian newspaper reference to ball and bat, and the discovery of early bats and rounders (a shorter bat used for a softball-like game) in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
- “The Canadian Game” typically featured two innings of play between two teams of 11 players. Towards the end of the 1850s, southwestern Ontario had begun adopting the faster New York style of play: nine innings with nine players on each team. The use of a heavier ball made of rubber also replaced the practice of “plugging” with tagging, similar to how it’s done today.
- Southwestern Ontario—specifically London, Ont.—is also home to the world’s oldest, continually used baseball grounds!
Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.
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