Ted Williams: Jack of All Trades

Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams was known for his prowess at the plate. But his skill set extended well beyond baseball. The accomplished pilot missed much of the 1952 and 1953 seasons so he could fly combat missions during the Korean War. He was also fantastic with a rod and reel. Author Richard Ben Cramer, whose 1986 Esquire story “What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?” remains one of the best pieces ever written about the Splendid Splinter, best captured Williams’s legendary persona:

Few men try for best ever, and Ted Williams is one of those. There’s a story about him I think of now. This is not about baseball but fishing. He meant to be the best there, too. One day he says to a Boston writer: “Ain’t no one in heaven or earth ever knew more about fishing.”

“Sure there is,” says the scribe.

“Oh, yeah? Who?”

“Well, God made the fish.”

“Yeah, awright,” Ted says. “But you have to go pretty far back.”

The Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, featuring Williams, are available in Post Offices and online now.

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

The Streak Comes to a Close

In 1941, Joe DiMaggio took the nation by storm. That year, he strung together a still-unmatched 56-game hitting streak, which finally ended on July 17. That day, Cleveland Indians third baseman Ken Keltner made two great plays to rob DiMaggio of hits. The iconic New York Yankee, who’s featured on the upcoming 2012 Major League Baseball All-Stars stamp pane, captivated baseball fans across America.

Kostya Kennedy’s book, 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, chronicled DiMaggio’s magical 1941 season. In it, the author shows just how passionate people were about The Streak:

Fan Mail arrived from all over the country, scores of letters each day both to his home and to the Stadium. Many of the envelopes came with a lucky thingamabob inside—a bracelet or a small stone or a few lines of bad, original poetry or something soft to rub. People everywhere wanted in, wanted to feel in some small way a contributor to the streak.

Have you ever sent a letter to your favorite athlete? If so, what kind of response did you receive? Let us know!

The Major League Baseball All-Stars (Forever®) stamps will be issued Friday, July 20, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. In the meantime, you can pre-order your stamps and a host of baseball-related philatelic products now!

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

Four Baseball Legends Set to Hit Stamps Out of the Park

Don’t forget! The set of four Major League Baseball All-Stars (Forever®) stamps—honoring baseball greats Ted Williams, Larry Doby, Willie Stargell, and Joe DiMaggio—will be issued just one week from today.

The First Day of Issue ceremony will take place in the Grandstand Theater at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Brian Kenny of Major League Baseball Network will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe will officially dedicate the stamps. Honored guests will include Margaret Weller-Stargell, wife of Willie Stargell; Larry Doby Jr, son of Larry Doby; Claudia Williams, daughter of Ted Williams; and Kathie Stein, granddaughter of Joe DiMaggio.

You can pre-order your Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, as well as all sorts of fun baseball-related products, online at the Postal Store.

Looking forward to seeing you in Cooperstown!

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

Remembering the All-Star Game’s Beginnings

The Major League Baseball All-Star game has been a summer tradition for the past 80 years. The first Midsummer Classic was held on July 6, 1933, at the old Comiskey Park in Chicago. It was a special event on the baseball calendar. In the days before Interleague Play, the All-Star game was the season’s only contest—excluding the World Series, of course—featuring both American League and National League stars. That fact wasn’t lost on the players.

At the time, legendary slugger Babe Ruth was nearing the end of his historic career.

“We wanted to see the Babe,” St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bill Hallahan, who was the National League’s starter in the inaugural All-Star game, said at the time. “Sure, he was old and had a big waistline, but that didn’t make any difference. We were on the same field as Babe Ruth.”

The American League won the game, 4-2, and Ruth didn’t disappoint. The Babe went 2 for 4 and hit a home run—off Hallahan.

This year’s All-Star game will be held on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

The four players featured on the new Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps were all perennial All-Stars. The set of four stamps will be issued in July 20 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, with additional dedication ceremonies on July 21 in each city where the baseball legends played—Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and New York, NY. You can pre-order your stamps and other philatelic products today!

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

Celebrate Major League Baseball All-Stars With Digital Color Postmark Keepsake

We’re really getting into the spirit of baseball here, and we’ve got the perfect thing to help you celebrate your love of the national pastime!

With the Major League Baseball All-Stars Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, you can commemorate the athletic talent and determination of four of the sport’s best players. This beautiful collector’s item comes with a pane of 20 MLB All-Stars (Forever®) stamps and four first day covers with uniquely designed color postmarks that include the date and location of issuance. This keepsake is a great addition to any collection (stamp or baseball-related!), and would make a wonderful gift, too!

The Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps will be issued on July 20 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, but you can pre-order this piece of philatelic history today!

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