A Portrait Through Stamp Art

Baseball

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Joe DiMaggio stamp art

New York City once had three major league teams: the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the New York Giants. Fourteen World Series match-ups have pitted New York City teams against one another, and the famed Yankees have won the World Series 27 times. When a New Yorker (James Farley) became Postmaster General, he approved the issuance of the first baseball stamp in 1939 commemorating the baseball centennial.

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Joe DiMaggio stamp art
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Joe DiMaggio stamp

Joe DiMaggio, born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio and nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe” and “The Yankee Clipper,” was an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons as a New York Yankee. He helped the team win ten American League Pennants and nine World Series Championships. This portrait is based on an iconic photograph showing DiMaggio following through on a right-hand swing.

JOE DIMAGGIO Major League Baseball All-Stars Issue
MEDIUM panel, oil
ILLUSTRATOR Kadir Nelson (b. 1974)
ART DIRECTOR Phil Jordan
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE July 20, 2012

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Jackie Roosevelt Robinson stamp art
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Jackie Roosevelt Robinson stamp

Jackie Roosevelt Robinson, the first African American major league baseball player, signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Over his ten seasons as a Dodger, he helped the team win six National League Championships and one World Series Championship. He was the first major league baseball player to be honored on a US stamp.

BROOKLYN BRIDGE Commemorative stamp
MEDIUM board, gesso, acrylic
ILLUSTRATOR Howard Koslow (b. 1924)
ART DIRECTOR Howard Paine
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE May 17, 1983

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The Shot Heard ‘Round the World stamp art
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The Shot Heard ‘Round the World stamp

The Shot Heard ‘Round the World honors the 1951 National League Championship series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. In the bottom of the ninth, the Giants’ Bobby Thomson hit a three-run homer that gave the Giants a 5-4 National League Pennant victory.

SHOT HEARD ’ROUND THE WORLD Celebrate the Century: 1950s
MEDIUM paper, gouache, acrylic
ILLUSTRATOR Dean Ellis (1920-2009)
ART DIRECTOR Howard Paine
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE May 26, 1999

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Babe Ruth stamp art
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Babe Ruth stamp

Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth and known as the “Sultan of Swat,” hit 714 home runs and set or tied 76 records during his 15 years as a New York Yankee. He helped the team win seven American League Pennants and four World Series Championships. This artwork was a draft portrait that was not used for the final stamp design.

BABE RUTH Celebrate the Century: 1920s
MEDIUM paper, gouache, graphite
ILLUSTRATOR Davis Meltzer (b. 1930)
ART DIRECTOR Carl Herrman
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE May 28, 1998

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World Series Rivals stamp art
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World Series Rivals stamp

World Series Rivals depicts the crosstown rivalry between the Yankees and the Dodgers. During the 1950’s, the Yankees played in eight World Series, including four against the Dodgers, who beat the Yankees once. The transit token is a reminder that these intra-city match-ups were known as “subway series.”

WORLD SERIES RIVALS Celebrate the Century: 1950s
MEDIUM paper, gouache, graphite
ILLUSTRATOR Dean Ellis (1920-2009)
ART DIRECTOR Howard Paine
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE February 18, 1999