Postal Service Unveils 2006 Commemorative
WASHINGTON - What do Baseball, Batman, Brooklyn's Verrazano-Narrows
Bridge, Hattie McDaniel and Harley Davidson have in common?
They're all just a sampling of United States' icons that will be
highlighted on 2006 Commemorative postage stamps, the Postal
Service announced today.
50 stamps highlighting four subjects to be dedicated at
Washington 2006 Stamp Exhibition
"Our 2006 program commemorates a wide range of diverse
American icons with something that will appeal to
everyone," said Postmaster General John E. Potter in
describing stamps that will honor Baseball sluggers, comic book
heroes, the nation's longest bridge span, the first
African-American to earn an Oscar and America's love affair with
Baseball Hall of Famers Roy Campanella, Hank Greenberg, Mickey
Mantle and Mel Ott are on deck to be immortalized on the
"Sluggers" stamps next summer.
Campanella was Major League baseball's first black
catcher, played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. As a talented
all-around player, he hit 242 home runs during his ten-year
Major League career. A catcher in five World Series, he was
named Most Valuable Player three times.
Hank Greenberg is remembered as baseball's first Jewish
superstar and one of the all-time greatest right-handed batters.
Twice named MVP, he had a career batting average of .313 and
1,276 RBIs and was selected to four consecutive All-Star teams
from 1937 to 1940.
Mickey Mantle was a famous switch-hitter whose powerful
home runs were matched by his impressive speed as a runner and
outfielder. Synonymous with the New York Yankees for nearly two
decades, Mantle was enormously popular with baseball fans and is
still considered one of the greatest players ever to take the
Mel Ott is remembered for his easygoing demeanor and his
unusual but powerful high-leg-kick batting stance. Ott
distinguished himself with the New York Giants for 22 seasons
and was the first National League player to hit 500 home runs.
He led the league in home runs six times.
With the issuance of the Sluggers stamps, the U.S. Postal
Service recognizes the accomplishments of four baseball greats:
Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Roy Campanella, and Hank Greenberg.
Remembered as powerful hitters who
wowed fans with awesome and often record-breaking home runs,
these four men were also versatile players who helped to lead
their teams to victory and set impressive standards for
Nicknamed "Campy," Roy Campanella (1921-1993) was the
first black catcher in the history of Major League Baseball.
Known for his years with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the famous
"Boys of Summer," Campanella is remembered as a
talented all-around player. He hit 242 home runs during his
ten-year Major League career, he was a catcher in five World
Series, and he was named Most Valuable Player three times.
Born in Philadelphia, Campanella began his career by playing
ball with a semiprofessional Negro League team, the Bacharach
Giants, during his teens. He played for the Baltimore Elite
Giants from 1937 to 1945 and was considered one of the best
catchers in the Negro Leagues. He also played in briefly in the
Campanella began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948.
During his 1953 MVP season, he hit 41 home runs, chalked up 142
RBIs, scored 103 runs, and batted .312, considered one of the
best seasons ever recorded by a catcher. With Campanella, the
"Boys of Summer" won five National League pennants
between 1949 and 1956 and won the World Series in 1955.
In 1958, Campanella was paralyzed in a car accident, but for
decades he worked behind the scenes and in community relations
for the Dodgers in Los Angeles. In 1969 he was inducted into the
National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1991, two years before he
died, Campanella and his wife founded The Roy and Roxie
Campanella Physical Therapy Scholarship Foundation, which
provides support for those living with paraplegia and funds
scholarships for students who pursue degrees in physical
As one of the all-time greatest right-handed batters, Hank
Greenberg (1911-1986) is remembered and baseball's first Jewish
superstar. Twice named Most Valuable Player, he had a career
batting average of .313 and 1,276 RBIs and was selected to four
consecutive All-Star teams from 1937 to 1940.
Nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank," Bronx native Henry
Benjamin Greenberg turned down an offer from the New York
Yankees and signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1930. After a
short time in the minors, he began playing first base for the
Tigers in 1933 and stayed with the team for most of his career.
He led the American League in home runs and in RBIs four times
each, and he was twice named Most Valuable Player. With 58 home
runs in 1938, Greenberg tied Jimmie Foxx's home-run record for
right-handed hitters, and his 11 multi-homer games set a
one-season record that still stands.
Greenberg's baseball career was interrupted 19 games into the
1941 season when he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was
discharged on December 5, 1941, but after the United States
entered World War II he enlisted as an officer in the Air Corps
and served with distinction until 1945. When Greenberg returned
to baseball later that year, he hit a home run in his first game
back. His grand slam in the ninth inning on the last day of the
season helped the Tigers win the pennant, and he hit two homers
and batted in seven runs to help propel the Tigers to victory
over the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series.
After joining the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 1947 season,
Greenberg retired as a player, later serving as general manager
for the Cleveland Indians and part owner and vice president of
the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of
Fame in 1956 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in
Known as "The Commerce Comet," Mickey Mantle
(1931-1995) was a famous switch-hitter whose powerful home runs
were matched by his impressive speed as a runner and as an
outfielder. Synonymous with the New York Yankees for nearly two
decades, Mantle was enormously popular with baseball fans, and
he is still considered one of the greatest players ever to take
Born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, and raised in Commerce, Oklahoma,
Mickey Charles Mantle was named for baseball catcher Gordon
"Mickey" Cochrane. Mantle overcame a childhood bout
with the bone disease osteomyelitis to excel as an athlete,
playing with a semiprofessional baseball team by the time he was
16. He signed with the Yankees in 1949 and began playing for the
team in 1951.
In 1956 Mantle enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in baseball
history, hitting 52 homers with 130 RBIs and a .353 batting
average to win the Triple Crown. That year he also won the first
of three Most Valuable Player awards, winning again in 1957 and
1962. During his career with the Yankees, Mantle led the league
in home runs during four seasons and in runs during three
seasons. The team won 12 pennants and seven World Series titles
and Mantle himself established World Series records for runs
(42), home runs (18), and RBIs (40). By the time he retired in
1968, he had a .298 batting average, he had hit 536 home runs,
and he had been named to 20 American League All-Star teams.
In 1974, the first year of his eligibility, Mantle was inducted
into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He died of cancer in
Born in Gretna, Louisiana, Mel Ott (1909-1958) is remembered for
his easygoing demeanor and his unusual but powerful
high-leg-kick batting stance. Distinguishing himself with the
New York Giants for 22 seasons, Ott was the first National
League player to hit 500 home runs, and he led the league in
home runs six times.
"Master Melvin" Ott began playing for the New York
Giants in 1926 and stayed with the team for his entire career,
serving as player-manager from 1942 to 1947 and as manager until
midway through 1948. During the 1929 season, he racked up an
impressive 42 home runs and 151 RBIs. A solid right fielder, he
also took the league by storm with his unique left-handed
batting technique, which involved holding his hands low and
lifting his front foot. Ott set what was at the time a National
League record for home runs with 511, hitting all but 187 of
them in his home park, the Polo Grounds.
With Ott in their lineup, the Giants won three pennants. In 1933
he was a World Series hero when he hit two home runs, one of
which won the fifth and final game in the tenth inning. Ott
played in three World Series and eleven All Star games. He
boasted a career batting average of .304, 511 home runs, and
Mel Ott was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951. He died in a
car accident in 1958.
The Sluggers stamps were designed by Lonnie Busch of Franklin,
North Carolina. Busch based his designs on historic photographs,
simplifying and adapting the portraits to resemble old-fashioned
baseball trading cards.
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