2012 Stamps Yearbook Debuts Free Online Supplement

For more than a decade, USPS has produced a collectible book to commemorate the subjects and stories behind the year’s stamp issuances. This year, for the first time, we’ve also created a companion website that delves deeper into the people, places, design, and creation of a handful of 2012 stamps.

The site includes web exclusives like artist sketches, videos, and images from release parties. You can learn more about the inspiration behind the Love Ribbons stamp, read O. Henry’s classic short story “The Gift of the Magi,” watch a drumming performance from the New Mexico Statehood stamp dedication ceremony, and lots more.

Felt & Wire, gurus of design and everything print and paper, have given this free online supplement a glowing review, calling it “splendid.” Check out the review, and then check out the site itself. And if you don’t own it already, the 2012 Yearbook is now available for purchase online, at 1-800-STAMP24, and in Post Offices nationwide. Get yours today!

Willie Stargell Wins Stamps Batted In Pennant Race

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for taking the World Series! Fans of Willie Stargell can also celebrate their own victory. They stepped up to the plate in the Stamps Batted In (SBI) pennant race to position the Pittsburgh Pirate icon as the Most Popular Player (MPP) among four icons immortalized on the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever® stamps, which were issued in the summer.

Prior to their release on July 20, USPS started a friendly pre-order stamp competition among fans of Stargell and the other players commemorated on the stamps: Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees, Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians, and Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox.

“Fan support of their favorite players was so strong that we decided to continue this friendly competition through the end of the World Series,” Stamp Services Manager Stephen Kearney said, referring to the record 2.29 million stamps pre-ordered. “I encourage fans to continue supporting their favorite player while the stamps are still available.”

To date, more than 32 million Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps have been sold. Three million stamps on sheets of 20 were printed for each individual player in addition to the 80 million stamps on sheets of 20 honoring all four players.

Stamp Pre-Order SBI Regular Season SBI Total SBI
Willie Stargell 540,613 7,679,742 8,220,355
Ted Williams 630,353 7,578,682 8,209,035
Joe DiMaggio 626,553 7,439,302 8,065,855
Larry Doby 500,813 7,343,202 7,844,015
Totals 2,298,332 30,040,928 32,339,260

The perfect keepsake, this 40-page softbound book is filled with vivid paintings and 16 collectible stamps. Click for details.

You can view the July 20 stamps dedication ceremony here, including a tribute from Hall of Famer “Mr. Padre” Tony Gwynn.

A video tribute to the four players is available here. Information on special collectibles can be viewed here. You can purchase the stamps and individual stamp sheets depicting each player along with unique collectibles at www.usps.com/play-ball. The Major League Baseball All-Star Forever stamp collectibles can also be purchased by calling 800-STAMP24 or by visiting select Post Offices.

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. Visit MLB.com

Happy Birthday to Poet Denise Levertov

Happy birthday, Denise Levertov! One of ten poets featured on the Twentieth-Century Poets stamp sheet issued earlier this year, the award-winning Levertov was born on this day in 1923.

Levertov drew her poetry from her own experiences, and she encouraged her readers to open themselves up fully to the world, to find answers to universal questions by looking inward. As she explains in “Pleasures”:

I like to find
what’s not found
at once, but lies

within something of another nature,
in repose, distinct.

In her poems, public and private form a single universe in which fairy tales and myths mingle with the objects and events of everyday life.

Have a favorite poem by Levertov? Join the birthday celebration and share it with us in the comments.

“Denise Levertov”, 1953
Photograph by Rollie McKenna
@ Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation
Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona Foundation

Environmentalist Lady Bird Johnson To Be Immortalized on Stamp

Forty-seven years ago today, Congress signed into law the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, known as “Lady Bird’s Bill” because of Lady Bird Johnson’s keen interest and active support of its passage. We are delighted to announce today that the U.S. Postal Service will celebrate this and other of Mrs. Johnson’s achievements with the release of the Lady Bird Johnson Souvenir Forever stamps sheet.

The dedication ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 11 a.m. on November 30, 2012, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

“The Postal Service is proud to issue this historic Forever stamp honoring a beloved First Lady who worked tirelessly to make the United States a more beautiful place,” says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy lives on along our nation’s roadsides, and urban parks and trails, which she so diligently worked to preserve and beautify, and now on a U.S. postage stamp to commemorate her contributions for forever.”

To learn more about Lady Bird Johnson (1912–2007) and events celebrating the centennial of her birth, visit the Lady Bird Johnson Centennial website. You can preorder the souvenir sheet now for delivery in early December by visiting The Postal Store or by calling 800-STAMP-24.

Holy Family & Santa and Sleigh: Some of Our Favorite Links

Are you ready for the holidays? Well, we are, and we kicked off the start of the holiday season last week with the release of the Holy Family and Santa and Sleigh stamps. In case you missed the fun, here’s a brief roundup of some of our favorite Christmas stamps news stories of the week.

  • The Holy Family stamp departs from the usual Madonna and Child image that appears on U.S. postage stamps. “Forty-eight out of 50 years were the same type of image,” says Louis Guiliano from the USPS Board of Governors. “We wanted to express a different part of the Christmas story.” Read more from Guiliano and about the Holy Family stamp here.
  • Even Santa himself made it to the dedication of the Santa and Sleigh stamps! For more pictures from the celebration, visit the USPS Media Center.

Also this week we send a special shout-out to Hints from Heloise, which featured Stamp Camp USA, an organization that introduces kids to the fun hobby of stamp collecting. Follow the link to learn how you can help.

Voting by absentee ballot this year? Make sure you have the right amount of postage!

December 17, the busiest mail day for USPS, will be here sooner that we realize. Have you gotten your stamps yet?