Baseball great Lou Gehrig, whose major-league record 2,130 consecutive games earned him the nickname "Iron Horse," receives another accolade as the subject of a new 25-cent U.S. commemorative.
The Gehrig issue is the 74th sports-related stamp issued by the Postal Service and the sixth to recognize baseball. It will be dedicated June 10 in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, as part of the hall's 50th anniversary festivities.Featured on the new adhesive are two views of "Larrupin' Lou" in the uniform of the New York Yankees. One is a profile, while the other shows him, bat in hand, following through on a swing.
Gehrig's many achievements in baseball include driving in 100 or more runs 13 consecutive seasons, including more than 150 RBIs seven times (among them an American League record 184 in 1931); hitting for a lifetime average of .340; and being the first 20th-century player to hit four consecutive home runs in one game.
He became the Yankee first baseman on June 2, 1925, and played in every game thereafter for 13 years until May 2, 1939, when the debilitating disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - now often called Lou Gehrig's disease - forced his retirement. He died in 1941 - 16 years to the day after he began his incredible consecutive-game streak.
First-day cancellations are available in the usual two methods. In either case, the deadline is July 10.
The Postal Service encourages customers to buy the stamp at your local post office and affix to your own self-addressed envelopes, and gives these requests preferential service. Send to: Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Lou Gehrig Stamp, Postmaster, Cooperstown, NY 13326-9991. No remittance is required.
If you prefer to have the Postal Service affix the stamp, for each cover requested, send a check or money order for 25 cents and a self-addressed envelope to: Lou Gehrig Stamp, Postmaster, Cooperstown, NY 13326-9992.
Baseball anniversaries have been marked on two previous stamps: A 1939 3-cent issue honored the centennial of the game's founding, and a 6-cent stamp, issued in 1969, marked the 100th anniversary of professional baseball.
- The Postal Service has issued a new stamped Philatelic Mail envelope designed primarily for returning covers bearing pictorial cancellations to collectors. However, the new envelope may not be used for first-day cancellation requests since the Philatelic Sales Division already encloses all standard-size first-day covers in durable clear plastic.
The envelope incorporates an indicia design similar to the Stars envelope issued last year. A ring of white stars encircles the letters "USA" on a dark blue background, with the denomination "25" to the left in red. A new feature of the envelope is a horizontal band of the words "Philatelic Mail," repeated several times in red, that stretches across the front and onto the back.
Collectors may send between four and seven covers in the new Philatelic Envelope, all for the 25-cent rate. Envelopes may be ordered in bulk by mail at $15.20 for a pack of 50 or $136.90 for a box of 500. Send orders to Stamped Envelope Agency, U.S. Postal Service, Williamsburg, PA 16693-0500.
Individual envelopes cost 30 cents each and are available at local philatelic centers, or by mail from the Philatelic Sales Division in Washington. The envelopes will be available at all post offices sometime this spring.
- The Republic of the Marshall Islands has released a new block of four 45-cent horizontal stamps that recall its cultural and historical links to Japan. This is the second such set of Marshall Islands stamps to honor the Micronesian nation's ties with Japan.
One stamp depicts the 1918 monument honoring the concern of Emperor Hirohito in the aftermath of a destructive typhoon that struck Majuro. The Japanese seaplane base and railway at Djarrej Islet during World War II are shown on a second stamp, while a third illustrates Japanese fishing boats in local waters. Featured on a fourth stamp are Japanese couples scuba diving in the waters of the Marshalls, which today are a favorite honeymoon location of Japanese couples.
Japan was the third foreign power to claim the Marshalls. In 1914, at the start of World War I, Japan took control of the islands from the Germans, who had seized them from Spain in 1885. The Marshalls were the scene of many battles during World War II. After the war, the United States acquired them from Japan.