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.
Cavalcade of Baseball
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.
Local boosters parlayed the Abner Doubleday myth into a new Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York.
The June 12, 1939 opening events and dedication ceremonies known as the Cavalcade of Baseball where the first professionally marketed sporting anniversary in American history.
Postmaster General and New York Yankees fan James A. Farley issued a postage stamp for the occasion.
Let's take a closer look.
As a teenager in Rockland County, New York, Stretch Farley played first base for his high school baseball team.
Farley never lost his interest in baseball and during his ascent through New York State's Democratic political machine he transacted business from this box seat along the first baseline at Yankee Stadium.
To avoid favoring any team or player, the Baseball Centennial stamp issued in 1939 features a sandlot game.
The Post Office Department steered clear of picturing Abner Doubleday, although the dates 1839 to 1939 are an indirect reference.
Here, Postmaster General Farley watches some of the 81 million baseball stamps come off the press at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington D.C.
The Cooperstown post office sold more than 630,000 Centennial of Baseball stamps on the first day of issue.
This is one of the first sheets sold, autographed by Farley and Melvin C. Bundy, the Cooperstown Village postmaster.
Among the most sought after souvenirs of the first day of issue are postmarked envelopes autographed by one or more of the 10 immortals of baseball who were inducted into the Hall of Fame during the opening celebrations.
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