Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.
The reference example is not illustrated here, however.
An enigmatic numismatic item which can only be explained as an object created by mint personnel for their own amusement or diversion. A mint sport can be something of utmost curiosity, of the most beguiling dilemma or perplexing uncertainty. Often they are termed by the unenlightened as mint errors. But a knowledge of mint technology would help determine when an object is a bona fide error and when it is someone
playing around with the equipment. Any worker in a mint – engraver, diesinker, pressman or finisher – could create such an object, as it can originate at most any step of the minting process, or include several steps.
Mint sports can be most frivolous – as, say, placing a gold coin between the dies striking a common sports relay medal. On the other hand, they can be so complex and detailed they would be classed as a fantasy coin.
Illustrated is a mint sport from the author's collection which is a struck piece from a die in which a diesinker passed time by sinking letter punches (perhaps to improve his skill in following a bowed base line). He ran through three alphabets creating the die that struck this object.
Numismatist Kenneth Bressett suggests this term seems to have originated in the Orient and usually refers to Chinese coins. In Russia the term ‘novodel' is used for similar items. In the U.S. they are often attributed to ‘midnight minters'.
To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Interesting term that I only vaguely recollect seeing elsewhere, but many examples of its usage can be found in the Newman Numismatic Portal - here are some examples.
TAMS Journal, Vol. 24, No. 6 (pg. 19):
"This curious muling in the collection of Garry Charman may well have been a mint sport."
Numismatics International Bulletin, Vol. 13, No.10 (pg. 61)
"Within his catalog Kann painstakingly identified varieties of genuine oins and also differentiated among genuine coins counterfeits and fantasy or mint sport pieces."
Numisma, no. 6  (pg. 24):
"I believe that the piece now under discussion was one such pocket piece or mint sport and was not a variety intentionally produced by the manufacturer of the Franklin Press tokens."
The MCA Advisory, March 2008 (pg. 9)
"ne possibility which cannot be completely ruled out is that the early 19th century US Mint employees or others struck the medal in this fashion as some sort of whimsical folly often referred to as mint sport."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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