Giveaway Review: Commemorative Coin (Grade: B+)

The first 10,000 fans in attendance at Tuesday night’s game received a commemorative coin.
The first 10,000 fans in attendance at Tuesday night’s game received a commemorative coin.

Nats Gallery Blog will periodically review the 2015 Washington Nationals promotions and giveaways.  The promotional schedule was released the second week of February and it generated lots of publicity.  We still believe that there is still plenty to discuss and we will give the promotions and giveaways letter grades (A-F) based on three criteria–excitement, originality and satisfaction.

The Nationals are celebrating the tenth anniversary of baseball’s return to Washington with 10-year anniversary themed promotions all season long.  In addition to the monthly 10-Year Tuesday giveaways that fans can store in their Opening Day commemorative tins, the Nationals will also be distributing five different bobbleheads celebrating great moments in Nationals history.

“The National Pastime In The Nation’s Capital”

The first 10,000 fans who attended Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays received a 10-Year Tuesday commemorative coin.  The front of the coin has the familiar 10-year anniversary logo.  The back of the coin has an engraving of the Capitol dome.  The, scaffolding-free, dome is set inside a baseball diamond lined with crossed baseball bats.  “The National Pastime In The Nation’s Capital” is engraved around the edge of the back of the coin.

Coins are certainly not the most conventional collectible for baseball fans.  They are available through MLB Shop, but they are generally sold as part of an expensive framed “photo mint.”  The Nationals team store also sells “authentic” coins which contain dirt from Nationals Park.

This photo mint is available through MLB Shop for $119.99.
This photo mint is available through MLB Shop for $119.99.

Challenge coins are often carried by soldiers and they are thought to promote a feeling of membership.  The Seattle Mariners were the only other team to have a coin giveaway this season and they combined the giveaway with their “Armed Services Day” promotion.  That coin is shaped like Washington State.  The team’s logo is engraved on the front of the coin and the names of the service branches are engraved on the back of the coin.

The Seattle Mariners were the only other team to distribute coins this season.
The Seattle Mariners were the only other team to distribute coins this season.

Although the coin distributed at Nationals Park lacks any military tribute, it serves a purpose similar to a military challenge coin because it boosts morale and promotes a feeling of membership among fans.  The fanbase in Washington is still taking shape, but this giveaway can help fans feel like they are part of an important history.

The coins were not very visible after fans entered the park which is understandable.  Fans were probably concerned about losing them or getting them wet so they probably put them in their pockets.  Only a few fans posted photos of the coins on Twitter which makes it difficult to judge excitement.  Nevertheless, the fans who posted pictures seemed pleased with the giveaway.

Grade: B+

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