U.S. Mint issuing first-ever “curved” coin to commemorate the Baseball Hall of Fame

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We heard back in April that the U.S. Mint was asking for submissions for the design of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. Well, a winning design has been selected and the result is something pretty cool.

In early 2014, we will see the first-ever “curved” coin issued by the U.S. Mint. The winning design, submitted by Cassie McFarland of San Luis Obipso, California, depicts a baseball glove on the obverse (heads) side. Meanwhile, the reverse (tails) side depicts a baseball. Thus, the curve not only simulates the pocket of a glove, but the look and feel of a baseball. It’s really quite nifty. Be sure to check out the interactive graphic on the U.S. Mint website.

You’ll be able to buy these bad boys in five, one, or half-dollar form while surcharges for each coin will be paid to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. If you’re into that. They’re not intended for practical use, but a neat keepsake nonetheless.

(Hat-tips to Dan Wohl of Cut 4 and Reddit Baseball for the link)

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.