Yankees legend Yogi Berra among six new 2021 U.S. stamp subjects
By Michael Baadke
Major League Baseball hall of fame catcher, coach and team manager Yogi Berra will be honored on a United States stamp in 2021.
Berra, who died in 2015 at age 90, is one of six new stamp and postal stationery subjects announced Jan. 15 by the U.S. Postal Service.
Ten stamps are planned showing spectacular views of the sun, five others pay tribute to the art of tap dance, four celebrate artist Emilio Sanchez, and a single stamp honors science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin.
In addition, a new postal card will be issued with its imprinted stamp showing a mallard drake.
Except for the stamp honoring Le Guin, all of the newly announced stamps are planned as nondenominated forever stamps, which currently sell at 55¢.
The forever stamp designation means the product will always be valid for the current first-class domestic letter rate, regardless of future rate changes.
The Le Guin stamp will fulfill the 3-ounce rate for domestic mail, slated to increase to 95¢ on Jan. 24. The Mallard Drake postcard will have a 36¢ postage value but is likely to sell for 40¢.
The Postal Service noted that the stamp designs are preliminary and subject to change, and that additional details, including issue dates, will be announced later.
Yogi Berra is one of the best-known baseball catchers of all time, not only for his formidable accomplishments in the sport, but also as a cultural icon whose good nature and amusing malaprops endeared him to the nation.
An 18-time All-Star Game selection and 10-time World Series champion during his 18 seasons with the New York Yankees, Berra was one of the game’s greatest catchers and a powerful hitter. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015.
The stamp shows a portrait of Berra by artist Charles Chaisson with lettering created by Michael Doret. USPS art director Antonio Alcala designed the stamp.
An issue titled Sun Science by the Postal Service will offer 10 stamps in a pane of 20. Each design features “stunning images of the sun that celebrate the science behind the ongoing exploration of our nearest star,” according to the Postal Service.
The designs are inscribed coronal hole, coronal loops, solar flare, plasma blast (two examples of each), plus sunspots and active sun (one each).
Alcala designed these stamps as well, using digital images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
“Celebrating tap dancing as a uniquely American contribution to world dance, these five stamps feature photographs of different tap dancers performing against brightly colored backgrounds that highlight their form and movement,” the Postal Service said.
The dancers are not identified, but each is surrounded by text repeating the word “TAP.”
USPS art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with photographs by Matthew Murphy.
Four new stamps celebrate artist Emilio Sanchez (1921-1999) with images from four of his colorful architectural lithographs and paintings: Lost Toldos (1973), Ty’s Place (1976), En el Souk (1972) and the untitled 1981 oil and watercolor work known as Ventanita entreabierta.
“Sanchez explored the effects of light and shadow to emphasize the abstract geometry of his subjects,” according to the Postal Service. “His artwork encompasses his Cuban heritage as well as his long life in New York City.”
Born in Camaguey, Cuba, Sanchez became an American citizen in 1968.
Alcala designed this issue, which will be offered in a pane of 20.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The stamp honoring author Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) is the 33rd issue in the Literary Arts series.
Le Guin emerged in the 1960s as a leading writer in the fantasy genre and speculative fiction field.
In the stamp portrait by Donato Giancola (based on a 2006 photograph of the author), Le Guin is shown with a background scene from her 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness, “in which an envoy from Earth named Genly Ai escapes from a prison camp across the wintry planet of Gethen with Estraven, a disgraced Gethenian politician,” the Postal Service noted.
Alcala served as art director for this 3-ounce rate stamp.
A new U.S. postal card will show the image of a mallard drake as part of the imprinted postage stamp.
The illustration is derived from pre-existing artwork in pencil and watercolor by illustrator and designer Dugald Stermer (1936-2011), whose illustration of a brush rabbit is featured on the new U.S. additional-ounce rate stamp issued Jan. 24 (Linn’s, Jan. 11, page 1).
Kessler designed the postal card.
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