May 10, 2012

Manchin: Athletics Strengthen Our Communities and Inspire Our Youth

Manchin introduces legislation creating commemorative coin to honor the Pro Football Hall of Fame and increase educational initiatives and community outreach

The bill comes at no cost to taxpayers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), along with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), today introduced bipartisan legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to create a commemorative coin in recognition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The funds generated from the sale of the coin will help preserve the history of football and promote the positive values of the sport to children in communities across America. The bill comes at no cost to taxpayers.

West Virginia is proud to have six of its own in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Frank Gatski, Sam Huff, Gino Marchetti, George Preston Marshall, Earle Greasy Neale, and Joe Stydahar.

“The Hall of Fame is pretty special to West Virginians,” Senator Manchin said. “We have six Hall of Famers from our little state, including two who came from my very hometown of Farmington. Imagine this: we’re a little coal mining town with less than 500 people. Nearby, we have a coal mine, called the No. 9 Coal Mine, and at its peak, no more than 100 people lived in that community. And we have two men – Frank Gatski and Sam Huff – who came from coal mining families in that area and grew up just about a street apart.

“I grew up around these giants. What you don’t see about these Hall of Famers is that they contribute more than just what they did on the football field. They gave hope and inspiration to every kid who watched them. In our little coal mining towns, we said, ‘maybe we can be that too.’ My dream was to follow in their footsteps. That’s all of our dreams.

“Sports have given so much back to our communities, and this coin will help us support the legacy that the Hall of Fame preserves. The Hall of Fame truly shows us that if you have a little bit of God-given talent and you have the determination to succeed, you can be anything that you want to be.”

Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, the U.S. Mint has raised more $418 million to help build new museums, maintain national monuments like the Vietnam War Memorial, preserve historical sites like George Washington’s home, support various Olympic programs, and much more.

The proceeds from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin will be used to support the Hall of Fame’s efforts to preserve and acquire memorabilia from one of America’s most popular sports.