Non-Postage Baseball Stamps

Often, baseball collectables are designed with perforated edges to look like a postage stamp. You can’t mail them, but they were created to emulate stamps. Many of them are shared here.

Also, I have included some “Local Post” stamps. A local post is a mail service that operates only within a limited geographical area, typically a city or a single transportation route. Many stamp collectors operate local posts as a hobby, issuing their own postal stamps for other collectors. Such stamps rarely carrying any mail, and hold no monetary value.

For now, I have excluded baseball stamps from food manufacturers and trading card manufacturers that are really just baseball cards in stamp disguise. Eureka, Fleer, Golden Press, MLBA, Post/Jello, Sporting News, Today’s 1971, Topps, and Wheaties are just some of the brands that have produced stamp sets of this type.

Baseball Centennial

We know today that Abner Doubleday may not have invented baseball in Cooperstown in 1839. Still, the centennial celebration in 1939 had ever MLB team wearing the Baseball Centennial logo on their uniform sleeve. A contest was held to create the official logo, and New York artist Miss Marjori Bennett was declared the winner. The player shown bears a likeness to Joe Dimaggio. The logo was alto turned into a commemorative stamp.

Baseball Centennial 1839-1939 – Original Commemorative Stamp
Baseball Centennial 1839-1939 – Original Commemorative Stamp
Baseball Centennial 1839-1939 – Commemorative Stamp
Baseball Centennial 1839-1939 – Commemorative Stamp

Boys Town

Boys Town provides life-changing youth care and health care services that meet each child and family exactly where they are. Boys Town kids started collecting and trading stamps in the 1930s, and the hobby grew. That led to the creation of their own collectable stamp sheets, given out as “thank you gifts” in return for charitable donations. Then came the Leon Myers Stamp Center – a museum located in the Boys Town Visitors Center.

1951 Boys Town Nebraska – Healthful Sports, baseball
1951 Boys Town Nebraska – Healthful Sports, baseball
Boys Town Nebraska souvenir sheet
Boys Town Nebraska souvenir sheet

In 1953, a Ball of Stamps was started by D.O. Barrett, the first curator of the Boys Town Stamp Center, and the Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club. Kids began the ball with a core, and began licking and sticking non-valuable stamps around it. Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured the ball at 32 inches in diameter, weighing 600 pounds, and consisting of 4,655,000 postage stamps.

Boys Town – Ball of Stamps
Boys Town – Ball of Stamps

Chinese Professional Baseball League

The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) played their first season in 1990. In 1995, commemorative stamps were issued for 9 players on the five teams in the league: Uni-President Lions, China Times Eagles, CTBC Brother Elephants, La New Bears, and Mercuries Tigers.

1995 China – Professional Baseball Players
1995 China – Professional Baseball Players

Dominica

The country of Dominica issued several stamps to honor the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, but this wasn’t one of them. This proof was never completed and put into circulation. This souvenir stamp is imperforate and shows the $5 denomination intended in preparation for becoming a postage stamp.

1992 Dominica – Barcelona Olympics with Tony Perez
1992 Dominica – Barcelona Olympics with Tony Perez

MAD Magazine

MAD was an humor magazine from 1952 to 2018. It was highly influential and affected the future of satirical media. Issues were often augmented with novelty stickers and stamps, and those occasionally placed baseball at the butt of the joke.

As reference: The song Mrs. Robinson was written for the movie, The Graduate, by Simon & Garfunkel. The film is about a middle-aged woman who seduces a much younger Dustin Hoffman. The famous song line, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?” was used to represent heroes of the past – not about Joe hooking up with an older Mrs. Robinson. It should be noted that Marilyn Monroe was 12 years younger than Joltin’ Joe.

Humbug was a humor magazine published from 1957 to 1958, edited by Harvey Kurtzman, the former editor at MAD, so I’m throwing this in the same category.

1964 MAD Magazine – Spitball and Umpire parody
1964 MAD Magazine – Spitball and Umpire parody
1968 MAD Magazine – Joe DiMaggio & Mrs. Robinson
1968 MAD Magazine – Joe DiMaggio & Mrs. Robinson
1957 Humbug Magazine – NY Yankees
1957 Humbug Magazine – NY Yankees
1964 MAD Magazine – Parody Stamp Sheet
1964 MAD Magazine – Parody Stamp Sheet
1968 MAD Magazine – 6th Annual Follies Sheet
1968 MAD Magazine – 6th Annual Follies Sheet
1957 Humbug #5, December Trading Stamps Issue
1957 Humbug #5, December Trading Stamps Issue

The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh

The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh dates back to 1888, with their current name coming into use in 1914. These commemorative stamps, issued a decade apart, honor the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers, both of whom played at Three Rivers Stadium at the time.

1970 The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh City Champions
1970 The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh City Champions
1970 The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh – Three Rivers Stadium
1970 The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh – Three Rivers Stadium

Sports Magazine Subscription Coupons

Many sports publications include stamps within the publication as subscription offers. For instance, it shows the newsstand price and subscription price. To get readers’ attention, athletes from prior covers are often shown. While this tactic has been taken by many magazines, it is most notable in baseball circles with Baseball Digest (the longest-running baseball magazine in the nation), Children’s Digest, and Sport.

Children's Digest – Subscription Stamp with Reggie Jackson
Children's Digest – Subscription Stamp with Reggie Jackson
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Tommy John
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Tommy John
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Dave Winfield
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Dave Winfield
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp for $4.97
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp for $4.97
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp for $6.97
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp for $6.97
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Amos Otis for $5.97
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Amos Otis for $5.97
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Amos Otis for $7.46
Baseball Digest – Subscription Stamp with Amos Otis for $7.46
Sport – Subscription Stamp with Ron Guidry
Sport – Subscription Stamp with Ron Guidry
Sport – Subscription Stamp for $4.97
Sport – Subscription Stamp for $4.97
Sport – Subscription Stamp for $5.94
Sport – Subscription Stamp for $5.94

Texas League of Safety

These were issued in 1938 to promote safety in driving. The stamps were designed as decorative add-ons to seal the backs of envelopes or packages. The set contained 30 mostly non-sports issue, and featured people and situations with slogans related to safety. This one reads, “The baseball player tries to get home safe, do you?” Learn more about the Texas League of Safety stamps.

1938 Texas League of Safety – Baseball Player
1938 Texas League of Safety – Baseball Player

Toledo Mud Hens

The Toledo Mud Hens were the Triple A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers in 1996 while celebrating their centennial season. They created a local post stamp issue to celebrate the occasion. Tony Clark, the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association played for Toledo that season, batting .299 with 14 home runs before being called up to the Tigers to finish his rookie season.

1996 Toledo Mud Hens Centennial – Local Post
1996 Toledo Mud Hens Centennial – Local Post

Toronto Blue Jays Victory Seals

Issued by Canada Post in 1993, these commemorative stamps celebrate the first World Series championship by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993. There are 12 individual victor seal stamps in the set, plus a cover souvenir sheet featuring Paul Molitor, Joe Carter, Cito Gaston, and the Blue Jays logo.

1993 Toronto Blue Jays – Victory Seals
1993 Toronto Blue Jays – Victory Seals
1993 Toronto Blue Jays – Victory Seals – Set of 12 with Paul Molitor
1993 Toronto Blue Jays – Victory Seals – Set of 12 with Paul Molitor

Washington Senators

The origin and issue date of this commemorative stamp is unknown, though the Washington Senators most recently played from 1956 to 1960.

Washington Senators Commemorative Stamp
Washington Senators Commemorative Stamp

Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum

This satirical souvenir sheet was issued by the Wilkinson Stamp Club in 1970. This stamp sheet was intended to commemorate Apollo 8 (from 1968) with a baseball motif. WSC placed “Wrigley Field” on one of the stamps. As a parody to the Wrigley’s Gum logo, they designed “Peppermint” and “Spearmint” arrows in the stamp design. This infringed on the Wrigley Company trademark, and special permission was required for WSC to sell the stamps through the end of the year – at which time, all remainders had to be destroyed,

1970 – Wrigley Spearmint Gum with Baseball & Space Promo
1970 – Wrigley Spearmint Gum with Baseball & Space Promo

As early as the 1920’s, Wrigley Company began using baseball concepts in their advertising. So perhaps they enjoyed the free publicity stamps gave them. Even stamps have a gummy flavor!

1920s Wrigley Gum Advertisement featuring Baseball
1920s Wrigley Gum Advertisement featuring Baseball

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