Ted Williams leads Joe DiMaggio in stamp popularity race

WASHINGTON — In the pre-order stamp sales pennant race to rally support for identifying the most popular Major League Baseball All-Star Forever stamp, Boston Red Sox Ted Williams still holds a slight lead over New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio, but there’s still time for fans of Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell and Cleveland Indian Larry Doby fans to step up to the plate and take the series as the stamps won’t be issued until later in July.

Of 812,012 Stamps Batted In (SBI), the standings break down as follows: Williams is hitting 234,198 versus 225,038 SBI for DiMaggio, 178,278 for Stargell and 174,498 for Doby.

The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony honoring all four players on a single sheet of 20 Forever stamps will take place on July 20 in Cooperstown, NY, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. On July 21, four additional First-Day-of-Issue ceremonies will take place in each of the cities where the legends played—honoring them with their own individual stamp sheets of 20. Event details will be announced at a later date.

“Sales are well beyond the three quarters of a million mark with more than 800,000 stamps sold,” said Stamp Services Manager Stephen Kearney, referring to both the sheets of 20 stamps and collectable uncut press sheets containing 120 stamps—both suitable for framing. “We’re committed to honoring advance orders for sheets of 20 stamps honoring individual players if ordered by Aug. 31—and we’ll go back to press to fill those orders if necessary. ”

Kearney noted that the individual player stamp sheets will be sold only in limited quantities beginning July 21 at select Post Offices in Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Cooperstown, NY; New York, NY and Pittsburgh, PA.

Responding to overwhelming demand following the May 13 “Opening Day” announcement to honor the four players collectively on a single sheet of 20 Forever stamps, the Postal Service announced on May 31 it will issue sheets of 20 stamps honoring each player individually. Events will take place in Cooperstown and the cities where each Hall of Famer played.

Customers may preorder the stamps and collectible products today by visiting this link: www.usps.com/play-ball, or by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) or by mailing a check or money order to:

KANSAS CITY, MO 64144-0001

For mail orders, customers should include an additional $1.25 for orders up to $50 or $1.75 for orders more than $50.

First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremonies will take place in five cities:

  • July 20, 10 a.m., Cooperstown, NY, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The First-Day-of-Issue Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps dedication ceremony for the sheet of stamps featuring all four players is taking place at the Museum as part of opening day festivities for the four-day Hall of Fame Weekend celebration in Cooperstown. Available nationwide that day, the stamps can also be purchased at the Museum and at the Cooperstown Post Office.

  • July 21 in Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and New York.

First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremonies for each of the individual player stamp sheets are being planned to honor DiMaggio in New York; Doby in Cleveland; Stargell in Pittsburgh; and Williams in Boston. Details on event locations will be announced at a later date.

The stamps were designed by artist-illustrator Kadir Nelson of Los Angeles and are based on historic photographs. Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, served as art director.

Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) was admired for his skill and grace as a fielder and base runner. The Yankee Clipper is best known for his incredible 56-game hitting streak in 1941—the season of “the Streak.” DiMaggio led the New York Yankees to 10 pennants and nine World Series titles.

Larry Doby
Larry Doby (1923-2003) was the first African-American to play in the American League, joining the Cleveland Indians shortly after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the National League. The seven-time All-Star excelled as a hitter and center fielder and set an American League outfielder record for 164 consecutive errorless games.

Willie Stargell
Willie Stargell (1940-2001) powered the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates to a World Series title. Hitting 475 home runs during his career, the seven-time National League All-Star is famous for smashing baseballs out of stadiums.

Ted Williams
Ted Williams(1918-2002) of the Boston Red Sox served during World War II and the Korean War. The last Major League player to bat over .400 for a single season, in 1941, Williams won six American League batting titles and four home run titles. Despite the breaks in his career, Williams hit .344 over 19 years, including 521 home runs.

Other 2012 Stamps
Customers may view the Major League Baseball Forever stamps as well as many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for the backstory on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

The following stamps and philatelic products are available at this link: usps.com/play-ball/

Sheets of 20 Stamps

  • Major League Baseball All-Stars (Item # 469600), $9.
  • Joe DiMaggio (Item # 577800), $9.
  • Larry Doby (Item # 577900), $9.
  • Willie Stargell (Item # 578000), $9.
  • Ted Williams (Item #578100), $9.

Uncut Press Sheets (14.5″ W X 19″ H – artwork suitable for framing)
Four different pristine without perforations or die-cuts press sheets will be available: (6 stamp panes per sheet), $54:

  • 2,500 sheets of each individual player: DiMaggio (Item # 577884); Doby (Item # 577984); Stargell (Item # 578084); Williams (Item # 578184)

Play Ball! Great Moments in Major League Baseball® History

  • 40-page softbound book with 16 stamps (including previously issued baseball stamps), $24.95 (Item # 469672)

Ceremony Program

  • Random stamp featuring the Cooperstown, NY, First-Day-of-Issue postmark, $6.95 (Item # 469691)

First-Day-of-Issue (FDOI) Postmarks
First-Day-of-Issue Black Pictorial Postmarks and Digital Color Postmarks (DCP) will be available for Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York City and Cooperstown, NY. The following First-Day-of-Issue covers are available:

First-Day Covers (Black Pictorial Postmarks)

  • Set of 4 covers with Cooperstown, NY, postmark (July 20, 2012), $3.56 (Item # 469663)
  • Set of 8; 4 covers with Cooperstown postmark / 4 covers from other cities, $7.12 (Item # 469669)
  • Individual player covers with Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and New York postmark (July 21, 2012), 89-cents each: DiMaggio (Item # 577861); Doby (Item # 577961); Stargell (Item # 578061);Williams (Item #578161)

Digital Color Postmark First-Day Covers

  • Set of 4 covers with Cooperstown, NY postmark (July 20, 2012), $6.40 (Item # 469668)
  • Set of 8: 4 covers with Cooperstown postmark / 4 covers from other cities, $12.80 (Item # 469679)
  • Individual player covers with Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and New York postmark (July 21, 2012), $1.60 each: DiMaggio (Item #577865); Doby (Item # 577965); Stargell (Item # 578065); Williams (Item #578165)