HARTFORD, WI — The U.S. Postal Service dedicated the first-of-its-kind stamps with the look — and feel — of balls used in eight popular sports. Available nationwide today, the Have a Ball! Forever stamps depict balls used in baseball, basketball, football, golf, kickball, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
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A special coating applied to selected areas of the stamps during the printing process gives them a texture that mimics the feel of:
- a baseball’s stitching;
- a golf ball’s dimples;
- a tennis ball’s seams;
- a soccer ball or volleyball’s textured panels; and,
- the different raised patterns of a football, basketball and kickball.
The first-day-of-issuance ceremony at the 117th U.S. Open Championship in Hartford, WI, was part of the U.S. Golf Association’s Flag Day celebration. The Postal Service was part of this special tribute to those who serve or have served in the military. Nearly 1 of 7 postal employees served in the military.
“Every day across the United States, people of all ages gather on fields, diamonds, courts, and golf courses to engage in friendly and fun competition,” said U.S. Postal Service Senior Vice President, Sales and Customer Relations Cliff Rucker. “We are honored to celebrate our nation’s passion for athletics with the Have a Ball! Forever stamps. It is my hope that whenever you affix these colorful new stamps to letters, they serve as a reminder of the connection between sports and culture.”
Joining Rucker in the dedication was U.S. Golf Association President Diana Murphy.
“We can’t think of a more fitting place to celebrate golf as one of America’s favorite recreational sports than the U.S. Open Championship,” said Murphy. “This innovative stamp collection provides a lasting symbol of how sports — like golf — can connect people and communities, create fun opportunities to promote an active lifestyle, and bring out the fan in all of us. We are thrilled to reveal it to our fans today, in our country’s heartland.”
These round Forever stamps are available in panes of 16 that include two stamps of each design. Stamp artist Daniel Nyari of Long Island City, NY, and stamp designer Mike Ryan of Charlottesville, VA, worked with Art Director Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA to create the stamp images.
The Have a Ball! stamps are being issued as Forever stamps which are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail service 1-ounce price.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes, to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
FDOI – Have a Ball! Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the U.S. Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by Aug. 14, 2017.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic, online at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free issue of USA Philatelic at usps.com/philatelic, by calling 800-782-6724, or by writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
USA Philatelic Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows:
- 474906, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $62.72.
- 474910, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (set of 8), $21.95.
- 474916, First-Day Cover (set of 8), $7.44.
- 474921, Digital Color Postmark (set of 8), $13.12.
- 474924, Framed Art, $39.95.
- 474930, Ceremony Envelope (includes ceremony envelope with program brochure; participant programs are not available), $4.95.
- 474933 , Panel, $10.95.
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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