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Joe DiMaggio to be first of four “MLB All-Star” stamps in 2012

Aug 8, 2011, 2:07 PM EDT

joe dimaggio stamp

Starting next year the United States Postal Service will issue “Major League Baseball All-Star” stamps honoring “four players who were perennial All-Star selections and left an indelible impression on the game.”

Today they announced that Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio is the first player to be honored, with Kadir Nelson doing the artwork. I’ve never gotten into stamp collecting, but the design looks very nice.

The press release notes that “many consider him the greatest all-around player of his time,” which is certainly true. But my hope is that the player I consider the greatest of that era, Ted Williams, will also be among the four honored.

  1. sdelmonte - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    A quick look at Wikipedia shows what ballplayers (among others) have already been honored. It’s a nice little list.

    Williams has not been yet. And of course, no living person can be on a stamp, so we will have to (hopefully a long time) for Mays and Aaron.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      Players who’ve been on a stamp:

      Roy Campanella (2006)
      Roberto Clemente (1984)
      Ty Cobb (2000)
      Mickey Cochrane (2000)
      Eddie Collins (2000)
      Dizzy Dean (2000)
      Jimmie Foxx (2000)
      Lou Gehrig (1989)
      Josh Gibson (2000)
      Hank Greenberg (2006)
      Lefty Grove (2000)
      Rogers Hornsby (2000)
      Walter Johnson (2000)
      Mickey Mantle (2006)
      Roger Maris (1999)
      Christy Mathewson (2000)
      Met Ott (2006)
      Satchel Paige (2006)
      Jackie Robinson (1982)
      Babe Ruth (1983)
      George Sisler (2000)
      Tris Speaker (2000)
      Pie Traynor (2000)
      Honus Wagner (2000)
      Cy Young (2000)

      • natstowngreg - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        Nothing at all against Mantle and Maris, but they have had stamps and DiMaggio has not?
        Ted Williams has not had a stamp?

        Nothing at all against Hank Greenberg, but he had a stamp and Williams has not?

        A major surprise.

      • adeedothatswho - Aug 8, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        Greenberg likely got one first due to his MASSIVE impact on the Jewish community in America during his era. He was also one of the best players of all time, a two-time regular season and World Series MVP, and maybe the best RBI guy (other than Gehrig) of all time.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

        The post office only puts dead people on stamps. Williams only died eight years ago.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 11:14 PM

        I never thought I’d argue about who does or does not deserve a postage stamp, yet here I am….

        I far bigger crime than Greenberg over Williams for Stamp honors is Pie Traynor, George Sisler and Dizzy Dean. Though their stamps say 39 cents, it turns out they’re really only worth 25 cents and won’t actually mail a first class letter*

        *get it? Because they’re overrated.

    • umrguy42 - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      sdelmonte, also hopefully a long time for one of my favorites, Stan Musial.

    • piper27 - Aug 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      Am I the only one that noticed!! Joe DiMaggio bats right handed. This could never be his picture!!! He always looks over his left shoulder and his hand placement is incorrect.

  2. bri11oh34d - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    This artist rendition must be based off that one day during BP where Yogi bet Joe he couldn’t hit one out while batting lefty with his hands backwards…

    For those wondering, Yogi won the bet…

    • shaggylocks - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      Good catch! Geez, that’s embarrassing…

    • paperlions - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      It is post-swing, his torso is twisted and he is watching the ball fly…not waiting for a pitch.

    • mkd - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      That is clearly a shot of DiMaggio’s followthrough.

      • kopy - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:56 PM

        You are right that it’s the follow-through, but I would definitely hesitate to use the word “clearly”. Something looks a little off about it.

        His torso seems twisted a little too much, and he’s holding his bat all wrong. He shouldn’t be pointing his bat straight up like that if he just swung.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    I agree with you, Aaron. DiMaggio was great, but Ted Williams was the greatest all-around player of the era and the greatest hitter who ever lived. Look at the stats that Williams put up, and keep in mind that Williams missed 5 prime years serving in World War II and the Korean War. Give him those 5 years playing and he maybe hits 800 homeruns is the greatest player who ever lived.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      My favorite slash line ever: .316/.451/.645
      That belong to Ted Williams…in 1960…at the age of 41.

    • paperlions - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      Williams was clearly the better hitter, but he was not anything approaching an all around player, he was pretty much all bat….and cared so little about defense that the press would regularly rip him for it if he played today.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        And yet his offense was still so great that he posted the 11th-highest rWAR among hitters of all time. Ruth and Bonds are the only two in his class offensively.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Dimaggio’s five highest WAR seasons:
        9.4, 9.0, 8.9, 7.4, 7.3

        Williams five highest

        11.8, 11.3, 11,0, 10.3, 9.9

        DiMaggio was absurdly great, Williams was somehow greater.

      • spudchukar - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        “Cepts either you and I have an entirely different definition of “all-around”, or you been drinkin’
        Boston Kool-Aid. Champion his hitting, his service to his country, and his possible stats, but he was a one dimensional baseball player. Greatest hitter ever? Quite possible. Greatest player ever? Arguable. Greatest all-round player? Risible.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      How many homers would Williams have hit? No way to know for sure, but educated guesses can be made.

      For his career, he hit 521
      From 1941 to 1947, he average 36 per year. So let’s add on 36 per year for 43,44 and 45 (629 total)
      In 1950, he missed time due to a broken arm, not military. So nothing is added.
      From April 1952 to August 1953, Williams was in Korea. He hit 30 in 1951, so let’s give him 30 home runs for each of those seasons (he had 14, so we add 46, bring the total to 675).

      The rest of Williams missed time was due to either injury or personal issues (he sat out the beginning of one season due to his divorce). If it hadn’t been for military service, a healthy Williams probably would have hit between 675 to 700 home runs in his career…maybe a little more of less. But it is very unlikely he would have gotten to 800.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Two thumbs down..for what? Because I said he wouldn’t get to 800?

        How about this:

        Say he hit 50 every one of those years, (43,44,45,52 and 53):
        That would be 521+250-14= 757

        So no, Williams would not have gotten to 800 if he didn’t have spend so much time in the military. It’s okay, I still think he’s one of the top 5 players of all time!

  4. kirkmack - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Boy, if Mickey Mantle, the most over-rated ‘great’ ever, is one of those 4, I think I’l go postal…

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      Mickey Mantle overrated? Care to elaborate why you believe this is the case?

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:11 PM

      He only lead the league in OPS 6 times with 4 home run titles, 9 top 5 MVP finishes, and WAR 7 times? Whatta loser. Yeah Kirkmack, that guy was certainly overrated.

    • kirkmack - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      While he is certainly a great and deserves the HOF and a lot of the praise he gets, he’s also treated like he’s a deity that everyone must bow down to and praise. The Derek Jeter followers are nothing compared to the Mickey Mantle worshippers. A lot of people point to Mantle’s knees as cutting his career short, but at the same time, imagine what the guy, I don’t know, drank half as much as he did? And I wonder how those greenies helped his game as well, keeping him in the lineup when his knees were throbbing almost as much has his hangover. But since the 50’s and 60’s are the see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil era of the journalistic world, he didn’t face the scrutiny that today’s ballplayers would have. But we don’t have the stories, so we go by the highly sanitized idealism of most of the baby boomer journos (*cough* Bob Costas*cough*) that worshipped him in their childhood and he’s a great and wonderful guy. Oh, and don’t forget about that liver transplant he got before he died that (a) never should have happened due to his ailing health; and (b) he was rushed up the list for, just because he was “The Mick”.

      Yeah. What a guy. Yes, the numbers are there, but…spare me the god-worship.

      • kirkmack - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Oh, and notice the joke in the second half of the post….

      • Kevin S. - Aug 8, 2011 at 3:52 PM

        It wasn’t funny.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        So…you’re problem with Mickey Mantle is that he was human? And that makes him overrated?

        Lemme tell ya, the same goes for *any* athlete people have that kind of worship for. Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb were legendary racists, Albert Pujols is allegedly a surly jerk, Michael Jordan had some unsavory gambling companions, Willie Mays used greenies…ect, ect, ect. To try to as the, or one of the, worst is waaaaaay of base.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:01 PM

        So, most of your problems with Mantle have to do with how he took care of his body and his drinking? Well, if you didn’t know already, Mickey thought he would die in his late 30’s like his father and uncle, so he lived life to the fullest. That’s why he drank alot. He was quoted years after that if he knew he would live as long as he did that he would have taken care of himself better.

        As far as putting Derek Jeter in the same sentence as Mickey Mantle, don’t. Jeter isn’t half the player that Mantle was. I think all baseball fans would agree with this, especially Yankees fans. That’s blaspemy.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:06 PM

        And how do you know Mantle wasn’t a great and wonderful guy? Have you hung out with him? No, you know he had a drinking problem and some indiscretions in his younger days that seem far more awful than your indiscretions because nobody worships you.

        Does everyone either put athletes high up on a pedestal or try to knock them down from it? Does anyone else just appreciate that people like Mantle were really f**king good at baseball and that his personal life, interesting as it may be, is somewhat separate from that?

        For example, I love me some Ray Lankford. For 11 years in STL, he was one of the most fun players to watch. He seemed like a happy, fun loving guy who was a very good baseball player. He also got hit sued for paternity by two different women in 2004 (neither of whom was his wife)….so he’s probably not the best husband (understatement). Why would this make me appreciate his ability to hit a baseball or a diving catch any less?

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM


        I do not believe we have conversed much in the past. At the least, I cannot remember. I agree with you 100%. Mickey Mantle was larger than life because not only he was the heart and soul of the Yankees teams that won multiple World Series during that era, he was the greatest switch hitter that ever played the game. Equal power from both sides of the plate. He could hit the ball 500 ft. regardless of where he stood at the plate. This kirkmack obviously doesn’t understand how great Mantle was.

      • spudchukar - Aug 8, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        This is rare. ‘Cepts you are 100% correct. Osteomyelitis is a painful degenerative disease. I do not excuse all of Mantle’s partying on pain killing, but I sure do to a point. Not only did he exhibit awesome power from both sides of the plate, he still holds the fastest measured time to first base. Plus he roamed centerfield, which at that time was gargantuan, at a level that only Dimaggio could match. If greatness were measured only by the zenith of careers, rather than by longevity, Mantle would be in the conversation as “greatest player ever”.

  5. cup0pizza - Aug 9, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    No Phillies will be included-you can count on that.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Aug 9, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    They should put Ted Williams frozen head on a stamp. I’d buy that.

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