It was the end of a dynasty. The New York Yankees had appeared in every World Series from 1936 through 1943 with the exception of 1940. Even more impressive is that they won the World Series six times in those seven appearances. The Yankees would go on another incredible run starting in 1947, winning six more titles in another seven-year stretch.
In 1943, they needed only five games to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. To commemorate the team’s success, a set of Yankees stamps was offered to collectors. Here’s a little more on the 1944 Yankees Stamp Set.
About the 1944 New York Yankees Stamps
Like many such issues, these were not stamps designed to be used for postage. Instead, they were to be affixed to pages in a special commemorative album. The album actually calls these “poster stamps” to differentiate them a bit from collectible stamps with postal value.
The perforated stamps had a clean, simplistic look. Each one had a sizable white border with a color image of a player as the focal point. The player’s name then appeared at the bottom in white ink inside of a red box. The stamps have a vertical layout and measure roughly 1 3/4″ by 2 3/8″. Actual images of the players can be quite small since each stamp shows a full body pose.
The stamps were issued in full sheets. While some of the sheets certainly still exist today, the great majority of them, of course, have been separated into individual stamps.
Those full sheets, by the way, tell us quite a bit more about this set. The stamps on the sheet did not have individual numbers printed on them but were arranged alphabetically. The bottom includes the text, “New York Yankees” as well as the phrase “1943 World Champions,” making it easy to identify this as a World Series type of collectible.
One important note is with regards to the dating. These sheets celebrated the 1943 Yankees team and that has led some collectors to believe they were issued towards the end of that year. However, the sheets specifically have a 1944 copyright date and that is the year that most collectors attribute to this set. Of note, too, is that few baseball cards and collectible sets were issued during World War II. This is one of the exceptions and likely a reason the stamp set has gained a good amount of collector interest. There simply are not many 1940s baseball issues and this set no doubt benefits from that in terms of generating interest from collectors seeking 1940s items.
The full sheet also gives us more information about the creation and distribution of the set. Photography for the stamps was provided by George Dorrill and they were printed by the American Colortype Company. Additionally, the sheets contain a mention that the series was approved by the National Poster Stamp Society.
1944 New York Yankees Stamps Checklist/Roster
For a Yankees World Series team, the checklist for the set is somewhat underwhelming. The big name from that era for the Yankees, of course, was Joe DiMaggio. His stamp would be the headliner here by a mile, but DiMaggio did not play for the Yankees in 1943, 1944, or 1945 due to military service in World War II. DiMaggio’s absence is really a shame here. While there are some big names in the set, it is really lacking the sort of mega star that DiMaggio was.
From a player standpoint, the set is anchored by Hall of Famers Bill Dickey and Joe Gordon. A few notables are also found in the managerial ranks. Hall of Fame manager Joe McCarthy was included as was Hall of Famer Earle Combs, who served as a coach for the team.
Here’s the full roster of the 30-stamp set.
- Ernie Bonham
- Hank Borowy
- Marvin Breuer
- Tommy Byrne
- Spud Chandler
- Earle Combs
- Frank Crosetti
- Bill Dickey
- Atley Donald
- Nick Etten
- Art Fletcher
- Joe Gordon
- Oscar Grimes
- Rollie Hemsley
- Bill Johnson
- Chrlie Keller
- John Lindell
- Joe McCarthy
- Bud Metheny
- Johnny Murphy
- Pat O’Dougherty
- Marius Russo
- John Schulte
- Ken Sears
- Tuck Stainback
- George Stirnweiss
- Jim Turner
- Roy Weatherly
- Charley Wensloff
- Bill Zuber
Despite being more than 75 years old, the stamps are not entirely rare. To date, PSA has only graded about 650 of them, averaging out to only a little more than 20 per player. But the stamps are not nearly as rare as that seems. Most collectors simply refuse to grade them because of their relatively small value.
Commons in the set start at as little as $5 with even high-grade raw examples often available for under $10. Keys to the set include McCarthy, Dickey, Gordon, and Combs, and even those can be found in the $15-$25 range as a starting point. Complete sets can be found for under $200, even sometimes in unseparated form.
There are generally a good number of singles and even sets available on eBay at any given time.