Williams vs. DiMaggio online slugfest sets Postal Service record

1.5 million first-day-of-issue stamps are the most ever ordered

The Red Sox/Yankees feud apparently extends to philatelists, as a corny online contest concocted by the Postal Service has generated a record number of pre-orders for a series of ballplayer stamps headlined by Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.

And the battle is not over yet -- which is a good thing if you're rooting for The Splendid Splinter -- as pre-orders can be placed until July 19 (though some packages are sold out).

The latest tally stands at more than 1.5 million stamps.

(The iPhone will fail, these guys said 5 years ago. Now?)

Before checking the latest Williams vs. DiMaggio box score, let's look at the stamps ... in the order that reveals my rooting interest.

Here's Ted Williams:


And here's Joe DiMaggio:


The series of stamps, which were designed by artist-illustrator Kadir Nelson, also include images of Larry Doby, the former Cleveland Indian who was the first African-American player in the American League, and Hall of Fame slugger Willie Stargell, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Doby and Stargell may have been stars in real life, but they are not faring too well in the Postal Service's popularity contest, which is being dominated and alternately led by Williams and DiMaggio.

From a Postal Service press release:

Joe DiMaggio fans have stolen the lead from Ted Williams for the first time since the Stamps Batted In (SBI) pennant race began in April. The race-created to spark a friendly competition among rival sports fans-closes July 19 prior to the July 20-21 official First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremonies for the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever stamps.

Collectively, fans have hit a grand slam with a record 1.5 million stamps pre-ordered. Never before has the public ordered as many stamps prior to their introduction.

OK, philatelists of Red Sox Nation, it's time to step up to the plate.

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