Back in 2014, when the collector market was in a frenzy over the US Mint's Baseball Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary coins, I came across an interesting set of three commemorative medals (they were incorrectly called "coins") that were licensed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame as official 75th Anniversary commemorative pieces and were sold embedded in attractive and informative folders.
Each of the three medals celebrated a 25-year span of the Hall's history:- Volume 1: The Beginning - 1939-1964
- Volume 2: Evolution of the Hall - 1964-1989
- Volume 3: The Hall Enters the 21st Century - 1989-2014
A fourth volume was added once the half-dollar coin struck by the US Mint became available:- Volume 4: An Unbreakable Bond - American History and the National Pastime US Mint 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Coin Designs - Common to All Denominations (Image Credit: Image courtesy of US Mint, http://www.usmint.gov.)
I'll let the content included on the folder's panels (below) provide the background and history on the Baseball HoF, here I'll focus on the sets/folders themselves.
The original price for each of the medal sets was a reasonable $24.95; in later years the price of each set was reduced in an effort to generate sales/reduce inventory. I saw prices reduced to $19.95 for a stretch and then further reduced to as low as $4.95 each! (It's quite clear that supply exceeded demand on these medals.) Volume 4 with the half dollar retailed for $49.95 (basically double the price of the medal sets). Once the half dollar was available, a four-volume combination package was available for $119.95 - a $20 savings over purchasing each set individually. That is the option I went with when I purchased my sets.
It's unfortunate that the four packages/sets were not more popular with collectors. The three bronze medals are, IMO, well designed and executed, and the custom packaging is colorful and full of interesting information about the Hall of Fame, its inductees and general history. As a life-long baseball fan, I enjoy reading through the included content. IMO, the medals are great supplemental "cousins" of the Mint's 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame coins.
The sets were produced by Coins of America, which is a well-known marketer of numismatic collectibles. I know that some look down at them and their products as overpriced "giftware," but they do often create quality, custom packaging that is attractive and appealing. The special edition folders produced by the US Mint for some commemorative coins (e.g., the various Young Collector Sets) have absolutely nothing on these Coins of America Baseball Hall of Fame packages. I don't believe Coins of America targets hardcore coin collectors with its products, but rather those with nothing more than a casual interest in coins and their connection to history. In that context, I think they do well.
The sets don't make that many appearances on eBay or other online platform, I personally have never encountered one at a coin show. I surmise from this that overall sales were likely fairly low. I would suggest their lack of popularity with collectors was, at least in part, due to lackluster promotional efforts. Considering the hype that surrounded the coins, these medal sets were vastly under-marketed. I encountered them while perusing the coin-related items available via the web site of the Hall of Fame itself back in 2014. Had I not seen them there, I'm not sure I would have ever known of their existence.
Here are images of the panels in Volume 1 of the set, The Beginning: 1939-1964.
:COA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Front CoverCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Inside Front CoverCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Inside Center PanelCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Inside Right Panel Flap - BackCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Inside Right Panel Flap - FrontCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Inside Medal Panel - Front
The obverse of the medal presents the National Baseball Hall of Fame logo.COA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Inside Medal Panel - Back
The reverse of the medal depicts the original National Baseball Hall of Fame building in Cooperstown, NY circa 1939.COA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Back CoverCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Certificate of AuthenticityCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Promotional SheetCOA Set - Volume 1: The Beginning: 1939-1964 - Front Cover of "The Beginning" Poster
I'll post images of the other volumes in the set separately.