Sports and Recreation

Topical Reference Page
Postal hockey team jersey

Albany District Dutchmen hockey jersey

The National Postal Museum proudly celebrates the rich legacy of American sports including its athletes, events and accomplishments through a variety of online resources. Explore the links below to discover how stamps and postal history objects showcase this important thread of the American cultural quilt.

Object Spotlight

Beginning in 1934, and continuing into today, host nations have had the honor of issuing World Cup themed stamps. The 1930 inaugural competition in...

Joe DiMaggio stamp art
Exhibition
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.
June 27, 2020 - January 8, 2023
Exhibition

The National Postal Museum presents a blockbuster exhibition exploring America’s national pastime. Featuring hundreds of U.S. and international stamps commemorating great players and historic moments, and drawing on original artwork and archival material from the United States Postal Service’s esteemed Postmaster General’s Collection, the exhibition approaches the story from a unique, worldwide perspective. The display of stamps and mail will be complemented by dozens of objects loaned by other Smithsonian Institution museums, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, law enforcement agencies, and private collectors. The exhibition, presented in English and Spanish through a collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center, will have broad appeal to collectors of stamps and memorabilia, family audiences, and diehard fans.

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Exhibition

American Sports & Athletes on Stamps
This virtual exhibit highlights dozens of different sports, professional and amateur athletes, and monumental moments in American athletics as depicted on U.S. postage stamps.

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Object Spotlight

It’s five o’clock but instead of going home after work, the American workforce goes out to play. 

There are numerous sports teams and leagues across our nation, entirely comprised of working adults looking for a fun way to relax after a long day. Postal employees have been no different. They have a long history of forming sports teams, just for fun. As early as the late 19th century, there have been postal employee baseball and basketball teams, bowling leagues, bands and choirs. Some postal employees even moonlight as hockey players.

April 1, 2001 - January 25, 2002
Exhibition

This exhibition featured one of baseball's great icons — Roberto Clemente Walker (1938-1972), who was honored on two U.S. postage stamps.

Roberto Clemente Walker: The Great One (en español)
1 de abril 2001 — 25 de enero 2002
Esta exposición contó con uno de los grandes iconos del béisbol - Roberto Clemente Walker (1938 a 1972), quien fue honrado en dos sellos de los EEUU.

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Exhibition

Roberto Clemente Walker: El Mejor
1 de abril 2001 — 25 de enero 2002
Esta exposición contó con uno de los grandes iconos del béisbol - Roberto Clemente Walker (1938 a 1972), quien fue honrado en dos sellos de los EEUU.

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Magazine article about a bowling team
Research Articles
Postal workers have had a long tradition of participation in sports teams.
Exhibition

African-Americans on Postage Stamps
Since the founding of the United States, African Americans have played a pivotal role in the shaping of American history and heritage. Their contributions to America have included the fields highlighted by the 1940 Famous Americans and many more. This exhibit showcases the black experience in the United States through the lens of American postage stamps.

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Priority mail envelope featuring Lance Armstrong
Tour de France Winner Lance Armstrong's Bicycle and Jersey
July 24, 2000 - September 5, 2000
Exhibition

On view were Lance Armstrong's United States Postal Service jersey and a replica of the bicycle that brought him victory in the 1999 Tour de France Race.* The United States Postal Service sponsored the U.S. Pro Cycling Team and has lent the items in connection with its cancer awareness/fundraising postage stamps.

*Now annulled as a result of a 2012 investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

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