Legends of Baseball

Baseball: America's Home Run

Of the more than sixty baseball stamps issued by the United States since 1939, the vast majority commemorate individual players. Many of these postal portraits feature specially commissioned artwork designed to mimic the look and feel of classic baseball cards and recall players whose achievements on and off the field made them household names. Here, for the first time, original stamp art and production material from the USPS Postmaster General’s Collection is paired with actual game-used artifacts as a powerful visual reminder that these players— whom most of us know only from photographs and old footage—were once flesh and blood.

Legends of Baseball wall panel and cases containing artifacts from baseball fields
Cases containing objects that belonged to, or are related to famous baseball players
Roberto Clemente lobby poster featuring a postage stamp and a baseball

Roberto Clemente (1934–1972) was born in Puerto Rico and played eighteen seasons at right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His batting average was above .300 and he played in every All-Star Game from 1960 until his death with the sole exception of the 1968 season, when he was plagued by shoulder problems.

Jackie Robinson (Black Heritage Series) approved 20 cent stamp art

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (1919–1972) was born in Georgia, the son of sharecroppers and grandson of enslaved Americans. He played two seasons in the Negro and minor leagues before being called up to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 as Major League Baseball’s first African American player. During ten seasons as an infielder for the Dodgers, he appeared in six All-Star Games and six World Series.

painted stamp art of Lefty Grove throwing a baseball

National Postal Museum chief curator Daniel Piazza shares intimate knowledge, little-known facts and secrets about the stories told in “Baseball: America’s Home Run,” highlighting some of the spectacular objects on display, including discussions with key lenders to the exhibition on artifacts never-before displayed for pubic view.

stamp art of Joe DiMaggio during his back swing

Joseph Paul “Joe” DiMaggio (1914–1999) was born in California to Italian immigrant parents. He played thirteen seasons at center field for the New York Yankees between 1936 and 1951, earning an All-Star berth every year and helping the team win ten American League pennants and nine World Series championships. His most famous accomplishment, however, was his fifty-six-game hitting streak in 1941, a record that still stands.

Theodore Samuel “Ted” Williams (1918–2002) played nineteen seasons at left field for the Boston Red Sox. Born in San Diego to an American father and Mexican American mother, he rarely mentioned his heritage, fearing discrimination.

Baseball: America’s Home Run