Negro League Stamps Part of 2010 USPS Plans

A unique "double stamp" issued later this year by the U.S. Postal Service will feature a panoramic shot of Negro League baseball and the legendary Rube Foster.

The list of names among the subjects headlining the 2010 stamps set for release by the United States Postal Service will include a tribute to baseball’s Negro Leagues.

Set for release in June, the Negro Leagues Baseball stamps pay tribute to the all-black professional baseball leagues that operated from 1920 to about 1960. The two 44-cent stamps separated by a perforation, comprise one scene painted by Kadir Nelson.

In 1920, Andrew “Rube” Foster (1879–1930)—who began his baseball career as a pitcher—established the Negro National League, the first successful league of African-American teams. Nicknamed “Rube” after defeating major-league pitcher George Edward “Rube” Waddell in 1902, Foster is considered the “father” of black baseball. He is featured on the stamp.

Drawing some of the most remarkable athletes ever to play the sport, the Negro Leagues galvanized African-American communities across the country, challenged racist notions of athletic superiority, and ultimately sparked the integration of American sports.

Overall, the list of stamps to be issued this year is a varied by elite group. In all, 30 sets of stamps will be released featuring the likes of Mother Teresa, famous TV cowboys, the Winter Olympics and distinguished sailors. It’s the Negro League stamps, though, that will surely find an audience with sports fans and collectors.