The 100th Anniversary of professional baseball was commemorated with this six cent stamp issued in 1969.
In 1868, team promoter Harry Wright filled his10-man roster for the Cincinnati Red Stockings with the best players money could buy. At a yearly salary from $800-1400, they faced teams across America belonging to the National Association of Base Ball Players that played for no financial benefit and won all games played (57) during the 1869 season.
Wright’s brother George played shortstop and earned the highest salary; while it might seem as favoritism, he was considered the team’s best player.
While the team disbanded the following year at the end of the season, it set the precedent for baseball players to be compensated for their talents on the field.
Produced by the postal service’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the stamp’s design is attributed to Alex Ross. Notably, the design is strikingly similar to another design introduced in 1969, the red/white/blue logo for Major League Baseball.
The first postage stamp to commemorate America’s favorite pastime was a three cent stamp issued in 1939 for the 100th Anniversary of the invention of baseball, which coincided with the opening of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
More than fifty stamps or stamp series have been produced to commemorate outstanding players of the game: Jackie Robinson (1982), Babe Ruth (1983) Roberto Clemente (1984) and Lou Gehrig (1989).
Legends of Baseball was a 20 stamp series issued in 2000 when postage to mail a letter was 33 cents, followed by Legendary Playing Fields, a 10 stamp set issued in 2001 at 34 cents.
A celebration in 2010 at Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum introduced a two stamp set commemorating the Negro Leagues and founder Rube Foster when the postage rate was 44 cents.