Baseball: 100th Anniversary Stamp

US Postage Stamps: 1939


Baseball: 100th Anniversary Stamp

This stamp was issued on June 12, 1939. It commemorates the date that the formal rules of baseball were created in Cooperstown, New York (now the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame) by Abner Doubleday. However, later research has cast many doubts on this story.

According to legend, the game of Baseball was invented in Cooperstown, New York in 1839 by Abner Doubleday.  Doubleday is reputed to have designed the playing field, defined the player's positions and created the rules, as well as naming the game.  This makes a good story, and Cooperstown remains the home of Baseball's Hall of Fame today, but unfortunately, it's not quite true.  There is scant evidence that Doubleday was involved with the creation of modern baseball.  In fact, it was not until the early 1900's, over sixty years after baseball's “invention” that the story first appeared.

A group of former baseball players along with other interested parties formed the Mills Commission to discover the origin of the game.  The Mills Commission determined that Abner Doubleday, a military hero, was baseball’s inventor.  Although this fit well with the Baseball Mythos, it was based on rather flimsy evidence.  The primary bit of evidence was a letter from Abner Graves, a resident of Cooperstown, who stated that he saw Doubleday develop the game.  However, Graves would have only been five years old in 1839, and unlikely to have seen Doubleday create the game.  Another problem with this is that Doubleday wasn't in Cooperstown in 1839, but was a cadet at Westpoint.  Lastly, Grave's reliability is a bit suspect as he was committed to an asylum for the criminally insane for life after being convicted of murdering his wife.

Buy a Baseball Centennial stamp for your stamp collection!


US Postage Stamps
1939


Golden Gate
International Exposition
New York World's Fair
150th Anniversary of Washington's First Inauguration
100th Anniversary of Baseball
25th Anniversary of the Panama Canal
300th Anniversary of Printing in Colonial America

50th Anniversary of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington