Lobby Posters

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.

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I'm Dan Piazza, curator of the National Postal Museum exhibition Baseball: America's Home Run on view until January 2025.

Join me for an inside look at some of the most exciting objects from this blockbuster show that  explores America's national pastime through stamps, mail and memorabilia.

Post office lobby posters advertising new stamp issues started in the 1960s as simple sheets of paper designed to be tacked up on a bulletin board.

By the mid-1970s they had become oversized glossy full-color affairs.

Some of the more interesting examples were those created to promote baseball stamps.

Let's take a closer look.

This 1984 lobby poster promotes that year's Roberto Clemente stamp.

With one of the first instances of Spanish language text on a USPS promotional piece.

Noted for his deep Catholic faith and his humanitarian work during the off-season, Clemente died in a plane crash bringing earthquake relief supplies to Nicaragua in 1972.

The following year he became the first Latino American Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.

He was honored with a second U.S. postage stamp in 2000.

The Jackie Robinson stamp, issued in 1982, was the first U.S issue ever to honor a specific baseball player.

It was also the fifth issue in  the new Black Heritage series.

The lobby poster promoting it was illustrated by noted artist Jerry Pinkney who also designed the stamp.

Iron Horse was a nickname given to Lou Gehrig for his considerable endurance best exemplified by the fact that he appeared in 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees between 1925 and 1939.

Despite his incredible statistics, Gehrig was a modest man who spent much of his career in the shadow of larger-than-life teammates including Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.

By their nature lobby posters were ephemeral, meant to be useful for a short time and then discarded.

All the same, they are colorful and collectible pieces of postal history.

For more on the intersection of postal and baseball history visit the National Postal Museum exhibition, Baseball: America's Home Run, online at postalmuseum.si.edu/baseball

Baseball: America’s Home Run