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WASHINGTON—Voting for this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star team has closed. But “votes”—a.k.a. Stamps Batted In (SBI) for the four legends who collectively appeared in nearly 50 All-Star games—have exceeded one million in the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever stamps pre-stamp dedication pennant race.
Leading by a close margin is Boston Red Sox Ted Williams, hitting 300,385 SBI, followed by New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio at 290,925. There’s still time for fans of Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell with 237,785 SBI and Cleveland Indian Larry Doby hitting 232,745 to catch up before the July 21-22 official dedication ceremonies. Fans can still pump up the SBI by visiting www.usps.com/play-ball.
“Baseball fans have stepped up to the plate to vote for their favorite All-Star in this year’s mid-summer classic,” said Stamp Services Manager Stephen Kearney. “We encourage them to do the same by hitting more SBIs for these legendary All-Stars that will be immortalized on Forever stamps.”
Kearney said that 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. To ensure customers obtain all the individual player sheets and related philatelic products, he recommended ordering them between now and Aug. 31.
First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremonies will take place in five cities:
All Four Players, Cooperstown, NY
- July 20, 10 a.m., National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The dedication ceremony for the sheet of stamps featuring all four players takes place as part of opening day festivities for the 4-day Hall of Fame Weekend celebration. Scheduled participants include Hall of Famer/San Diego Padre Tony Gwynn; Hall of Famer/Pittsburgh Pirates/Chicago Cubs/Cleveland Indians Ralph Kiner; Willie Stargell’s wife Margaret Weller-Stargell; Larry Doby, Jr.; Ted Williams’ daughter Claudia Williams; Joe DiMaggio’s granddaughter Kathie Stein; Hall of Fame Board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark; U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors member Louis Giuliano; and, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. Major League Baseball Network Host Brian Kenny is scheduled to be master of ceremonies. Available nationwide that day, the stamps can also be purchased at the Museum and at the Cooperstown Post Office.
Larry Doby, Cleveland, OH
- July 21 at 10 a.m., Jerry Maloy Negro League Conference at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, 24 Public Square, near Progressive Field, home of the Indians.
Joe DiMaggio, Bronx, NY
- July 21 at 11 a.m., Bronx Post Office, 558 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451. In conjunction with the festivities Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz will proclaim this historical recognition of a sports icon as “Joe DiMaggio Day!” Scheduled guests include DiMaggio’s granddaughter Katie Stein and Pulitzer award winning sports writer Dave Anderson.
Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, PA
- July 21 between 6:30 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. at PNC Park in Pittsburgh before the 7:05 p.m. Pirates/Marlins game for the sheet of stamps honoring Willie Stargell. Scheduled to join Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the stamp are Stargell’s wife, Margaret Weller-Stargell; Pittsburgh Pirates Board Chairman Robert Nutting; and Pirates President Frank Coonelly.
Ted Williams, Boston, MA
- July 21 at 7 p.m. in Boston’s Fenway Park prior to the Red Sox/Blue Jays game. Dedication of the sheet of stamps honoring Ted Williams. Boston Postmaster James Holland will unveil the stamp image on the field. Ted Williams Little League players will also be on the field with the Navy Honor Guard.
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.
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:
MLB PRE-ORDER OFFER
USPS STAMP FULFILLMENT SERVICES
8300 NE UNDERGROUND DRIVE #210
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.)
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 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:
- 2,500 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 (12 previously issued baseball stamps -Baseball's Legendary Playing Fields (10), Negro Leagues Baseball (2) and 4 of the new 2012 Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever stamps), $24.95 (Item # 469672).
- 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 four covers with Cooperstown, NY, postmark (July 20, 2012), $3.56 (Item # 469663)
- Set of eight; four covers with Cooperstown postmark / four 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 four covers with Cooperstown, NY, postmark (July 20, 2012), $6.40 (Item # 469668)
- Set of eight: four covers with Cooperstown postmark / four 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)
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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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, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. 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 www.twitter.com/USPSstamps and at www.facebook.com/USPSSTAMPS