Baseball, Apple Pie and… 1943 Cents?
Collector Kenneth L. with his grandson. Both are umpires at Cooperstown Dreams Park in Pennsylvania.
Collectors are like snowflakes – each one is unique – and has their own opinion on subjects like: what is better to collect, how a certain coin should be graded, and, in general, numismatics. One thing I think all collectors can agree on is that the future of coin collecting will be pretty grim if we don’t spark an interest with the younger generations. Truth be told, if we don’t encourage future generations to collect, this popular hobby will eventually disappear. As Customer Service representatives at Littleton Coin Company, we hear encouraging stories every day from parents, grandparents and other family members about how they are doing their part to help keep the hobby going for the kids of tomorrow.
Image courtesy of Cooperstown Dreams Park.
Recently I spoke with one Littleton customer, Kenneth L. of Ohio, who told me his wonderfully unique way to introduce local youth to the hobby of coin collecting. Kenneth is a Little League umpire. For the last six years, he has traveled from his home in Ohio to the Cooperstown Dreams Park, a baseball park for Little League teams, just down the road from the famous Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Kenneth, a retired machinist, spends several weekends each summer as an umpire for a variety of Little League teams that play at the Dreams Park.
For Kenneth, it’s all about giving back. In speaking with him, I found he was an avid stamp collector back in the ’70s and then moved on to collecting coins. Somewhere along the way, Kenneth discovered great joy in passing his coins on to his children and grandchildren, in the hopes of sparking their interest in the hobby.
Who knew Steel cents and baseball could go together like hand and glove!
Now that his grandchildren have grown beyond their Little League days, Ken simply switched gears and now gives his coins to the boys and girls who come to play baseball each summer weekend in upstate New York. “At my age, I don’t really feel I need to hold onto my coins, so I give them to the kids. It makes me feel good too!” said Kenneth during our recent chat.
Ken found the 1943 PDS reprocessed Steel cent set, offered by Littleton, to be an excellent gift to present to the players he works with each summer. When I asked him why he chose the 1943 reprocessed Steel cents, he said “I remember them as a kid. I used to hate them; they rusted!” Ken feels that although they are reprocessed examples, they still introduce children to an interesting coin that is directly tied to an important part of United States history. “Plus,” he said, “where else is a kid today going to see a Steel penny?”
By my estimation, Mr. L. has given well over 300 sets of these coins away so far. That’s over 900 coins! Thoroughly enjoying his retirement, he shows no sign of giving up umpiring and he plans to continue to give away 1943 Steel cents to the kids well into the future.
Thank you, Kenneth L., and everyone who encourages our youth to explore the wonderful hobby of coin collecting. You are the reason why this fun and entertaining hobby will continue for generations to come. Let us know what you think of Kenneth’s idea by commenting below.