2012 45¢ Willie Stargell Imperforate
The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates were struggling early in the baseball season. Team captain Willie Stargell (1940-2001) insisted they adopt as their theme the song “We Are Family.” The Pirates caught fire, and Stargell led the way. They called him “Pops.” He was 39 years old, and became the oldest player to win the Most Valuable Player award.
Early in his career, Stargell was a productive player and occasional All-Star, but not quite realizing his potential. It wasn’t until the Pirates moved out of gigantic Forbes Field and into a new, normal-sized ballpark in 1970 that Stargell’s power really shone through. He was big and burly; a menacing figure in the batters’ box. He didn’t just hit a lot of home runs (475 in all), he hit them far – great, titanic blasts. One opposing pitcher remarked, “He doesn’t just hit pitchers. He takes their dignity.”
In the years following his career, Stargell struggled with kidney problems that sapped him of his mammoth strength. The Pirates honored him for his contributions to the team and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On April 9, 2001, the Pirates opened a brand new ballpark, complete with a Willie Stargell statue out front. He never saw it, having died earlier that morning.
Kadir Nelson of Los Angeles created the art for this stamp, based on a historic photograph.
Value: 45¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: July 20, 2012
First Day City: Cooperstown, NY – National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Scarce Modern Imperforates
The modern imperforate stamps are one of the hottest stories around. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released some issues as press sheets. The sheets with die cut perforations were issued in limited quantities.
To the surprise of many collectors, officials then issued a small number of press sheets without perforations. The uncut sheets were only available in Kansas City, Missouri, yet most sold out immediately. In an instant, the imperforate stamp sheets became modern rarities. For example, only 75,000 Baseball All-Star se-tenant sheets were issued compared to 118,000 Bugs Bunny sheets with the 10th stamp imperforate.
In a controversial move, the editors of Scott Catalogue announced they would not list or give numbers to these stamps because they did not fit Scott guidelines. This decision was strongly debated since the imperforate stamps are valid for postage. They eventually decided to give the stamps minor numbers.
Because they were issued in such limited quantities, these scarce modern imperforates can be difficult to find. Luckily Mystic purchased a small number of each imperforate stamp issued so you can add these modern rarities to your collection. Be one of the lucky few – order today.