2001 Legendary Playing Fields
The Postal Service issued a pane of twenty 34-cent commemorative stamps with ten postcard images of Baseball’s Legendary Playing Fields, on June 27, 2001. Built during a time when their dimensions were shaped by their urban surroundings, these ballparks had quirks and irregularities that made them unique and endearing.
Featured stadiums include: Ebbets Field (Brooklyn), Tiger Stadium (Detroit), Crosley Field (Cincinnati), Yankee Stadium (New York City), Polo Grounds (New York City), Forbes Field (Pittsburgh), Fenway Park (Boston), Comiskey Park (Chicago), Shibe Park (Philadelphia), Wrigley Field (Chicago). The eleventh field, Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, is featured on the header.
Although just four of these fields still exist, for baseball fans everywhere they are shrines to America’s national pastime—places where history, tradition, and legend all intersect in chalk lines on the grass.
A total of 125,000,000 stamps were issued at 34¢ each, with each of the 10 fields getting 12,500,000, for a total value of $42,500,000
Comiskey Park, Chicago, ILA symmetrical park that favored pitchers over hitters, this South Side Chicago landmark featured graceful arched windows. In 1933, it hosted the first All-Star Game. A fan of gimmicks, the owner installed the first exploding scoreboard in 1960. (Stamp ID# Scott 3517).
Crosley Field, Cincinnati, OHMajor League Baseball night games debuted at this Cincinnati park in 1935, with FDR switching on the lights from the White House. One of the game’s smallest, most intimate stadiums, players had to run uphill to the outfield fence. (Stamp ID# Scott 3512).
Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NYHome to the game’s most colorful fans, this Brooklyn park had quirks galore, including an angled right field wall and a sign that when hit won the batter a new suit. The Major League Baseball TV debut occurred at Ebbets Field in 1939. (Stamp ID# Scott 3510).
Fenway Park, Boston, MABoston’s intimate Fenway Park has the Green Monster, a 37-foot-high left field wall. Red Sox fielders who mastered its unpredictable caroms became legends. The home run that ended game six of the 1975 World Series made history there. (Stamp ID# Scott 3516).
Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PAWith expansive foul territory and deep outfield dimensions, this park was a pitcher’s friend. Ironically, in the 61 years that the Pittsburgh Pirates called Forbes Field home, no one ever pitched a no-hitter there. (Stamp ID# Scott 3515).
Polo Grounds, New York City, NYThis storied ballpark – one-time home to the Giants, the Yankees, and, briefly, the Mets – was the site of the entire 1921 and 1922 World Series. The horseshoe-shaped field hosted one of the most famous home runs: the 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” (Stamp ID# Scott 3514).
Shibe Park, Philadelphia, PAThe first Major League Baseball concrete-and-steel stadium, Philadelphia’s Shibe Park featured a 34-foot-high right field wall, as well as a facade with stately columns and a French Renaissance cupola. (Stamp ID# Scott 3518).
Tiger Stadium Detroit, MIOpened in 1912 as Navin Field, Tiger Stadium was home to the Detroit Tigers for 88 seasons. It put fans very close to the field and featured a right field upper deck that jutted out ten feet farther than the lower deck. (Stamp ID# Scott 3511).
Wrigley Field, Chicago, ILIvy-covered outfield walls, a hand-operated scoreboard, and more day than night games are just a few of the reasons fans everywhere love Chicago’s Wrigley Field. When the wind blows out, scores can enter double digits; when it blows in, Wrigley is a pitcher’s delight. (Stamp ID# Scott 3519).
Yankee Stadium, New York City, NYYankee Stadium has hosted more World Series games that any other ballpark. Deep to the power alleys but short down the lines, beyond its left-center field fence lie monuments and plaques honoring Yankee greats. (Stamp ID# Scott 3513).
Issue Date: June 27, 2001
City: New York, NY, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, or Detroit, MI
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11.25 x 11.5