Jim Hickman, Claude Osteen: Two 1970 All-Star Game Memories

Did "Gentleman Jim" ever smile while at bat?
Did “Gentleman Jim” ever smile while at bat?

I watch the All-Star Game yearly.

The first Mid-Season Classic I remember was from 1970.

That’s why I was delighted that Jim Hickman and Claude Osteen each shared their moments with me.

These two letters are worth an encore.

New Baseball Stamps Worth The Hunt

I love the work of artist Kadir Nelson. Check out
his Negro Leagues Art Exhibit as it travels America.

(image copyright, courtesy of USPS)

Collectors are getting heard.

The U.S. Postal Service chose to issue limited numbers of sheets of ONE each of the four new commemorative stamps of Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby and Willie Stargell.

The only problem? Only post offices in Cooperstown and the team cities got the special sheets.

Therefore, only some Yankee fans can delight in having no one but The Yankee Clipper on their envelopes. Why not let ALL collectors have the one stamp they want most?

I’m bored with Liberty Bell FOREVER stamps. I feel baseball stamps get your envelope noticed when you’re writing for an autograph. Most of all, using the commemoratives tells the USPS to keep autograph collectors in mind for future issues. Agree?

Coming Friday: Talking autographed baseball books with expert Bobby Plapinger!

Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams Will Grace Envelopes For 2012 All-Star Break

Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams are “forever” All-Stars. They’ll have their own “forever” stamps starting in July, 2012.

Co-starring will be commemorative stamps of Larry Doby and Willie Stargell.

Artist Kadir Nelson, who painted the elegant 2010 Negro Leagues stamps, is creator of these four portraits.

I hope collectors stockpile these beauties. There’s nothing better for baseball correspondence!

Coming Wednesday: Ted Wieand shares good and bad news.

1970 All-Star Claude Osteen, Pinch-Runner?



Osteen’s classic pose,
year after year!

 Who would have won this footrace: Willie Stargell or Claude Osteen?

Pitcher. Pinch-runner. They sound a bit related. And Claude did have two stolen bases in his previous 12 seasons.

Such mystery and spectacle surrounded the 1970 All-Star Game. Osteen remembered:

“A bit of trivia. I got into the ’70 All-Star game as a pinch-runner for Willie Stargell, who had walked. I stayed in the game to pitch three shutout innings. One of my biggest thrills.

Gil Hodges used me a pinch-runner because he wanted the pitcher in that slot in the batting order.”

Bashful Osteen never mentioned that his scoreless work in the 10th through 12th innings paved the way for the senior circuit’s 5-4 win, crediting the Tennessee native with the victory.

Tomorrow: From moundsman to batsman — Claude Osteen challenges the DH rule.

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