U.S. Postal Service expands all-star lineup

Responding to overwhelming demand following the recent announcement to honor Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby, Oklahoma native Willie Stargell and Ted Williams collectively on a single sheet of 20 Forever stamps, the Postal Service today announced that it will issue sheets of 20 stamps honoring each player individually. Events will take place in Cooperstown and the cities where each one played.

“We’ve heard from Indians, Pirates, Red Sox and Yankees fans and we’re stepping up to the plate to immortalize their revered players individually,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Manager Stephen Kearney. “We have a limited quantity of individual player stamp sheets ready to fill all preorders now for shipment on July 21 — with these orders getting top priority,” he added. “It will be interesting to learn which of the four players sells the most individual sheets. Orders received for individual player stamp sheets will be accepted and honored through August 31, 2012, even if it requires additional printing.

Kearney noted that the individual player stamp sheets will be sold only in limited quantities beginning July 21 at select Post Offices in Boston, Cleveland, Cooperstown, New York and Pittsburgh. To ensure customers obtain all the individual player sheets and related philatelic products, he recommended ordering them between now and August 31.

Customers may preorder the stamps and collectible products today by visiting this link:  www.usps.com/play-ball, or by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (1-800-782-6724) 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 over $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 (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 (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 (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 (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 background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

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

Sheets of 20 Stamps
         Major League Baseball All-Stars (Item # 469640), $9.
         Joe DiMaggio (Item # 577840), $9.
         Larry Doby (Item # 577940), $9.
         Willie Stargell (Item # 578040), $9.
         Ted Williams (Item #578140), $9.

Uncut Press Sheets  (14.5" W X 19" H – artwork suitable for framing)
Five different pristine, without perforations or die-cuts press sheets will be available: (6 stamp panes per sheet), $54:
         1,000 sheets featuring all four players (Item # 469684)
         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 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)   

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service was ranked number one in overall service performance, out of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, Oxford Strategic Consulting. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.  Follow the Postal Service on Twitter @USPS_PR and at Facebook.com/usps