August 08, 2011
If this doesn't get you off your computer and into a post office to spend money, nothing will: Starting in 2012, the U.S. Postal Service will sell stamps bearing the likeness of New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio as part of a series honoring four baseball legends.
The other three honorees will be announced at a later date, but it appears that the USPS wants to capitalize on the 70th anniversary of DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak by making this early announcement. Hey, it has me excited.
The son of an Italian fisherman, Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999) led the New York Yankees to ten pennants and nine World Series titles. Admired for his skill and grace as a fielder and base runner, the "Yankee Clipper" is best known for his incredible 56-game hitting streak in 1941. Many consider him the greatest all-around player of his time.
Artist/illustrator Kadir Nelson based his artwork on DiMaggio and the other three players on historic photographs. Art director Phil Jordan designed the stamps.
As best as I can tell, 2006 was the last time the USPS had a series featuring individual baseball players. That set honored Roy Campanella, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Mantle and Mel Ott. Considering that a USPS honoree traditionally has to be dead for 10 years before landing on a stamp, it would seem that Ted Williams (d. 2002) would be a good match to land on the same sheet as the Yankee Clipper. Other good guesses for inclusion would be Willie Stargell (d. 2001), Eddie Mathews (2001), Pee Wee Reese (1999) and Catfish Hunter (1999).
Wikipedia has a master list of people honored by the USPS, in case you're curious.