11 July 2010

Colorful, silky and with quite the cachet of "cool".

       Once in awhile a non-card item catches the eye of the ever vigilant player collector.  Whether it be a can of RC Cola,  embroidered patch, various and sundry idols and graven images or a stamped and cancelled commemorative silk cachet.  'Tis the latter that brings together two of the most prominent forces in the collectible universe, that of baseball and stamps.  Though first day covers featuring baseball players have been around since at least the late 1960s (and probably a bit earlier), the field was hollow and incomplete until 1979 when the Gateway Stamp Company, one of the most prominent issuers of said novelties did put forth the first featuring one Dave Winfield:

      Renata Galasso, who had issued several sets of baseball legends sets with TCMA, entered the arena, issuing covers for various players and occasions from 1982-1984.  One of those commemorated the American League batting race of 1984 that saw the lead decided on the very last game of the season:

      'Z' Silk, often featuring artwork by Susan Rini, produced silk cachets and similar pieces from at least 1984-1997.  With the high quality of Rini's paintings, one almost has to wonder why none of the baseball card manufacturers worked with her for the various Diamond King sets considering how spotty some of Dick Perez's work was in the 1980s (such as the beak he gave Dave Winfield on his 1987 Diamond King card).  There were a lot of covers issued for Freehold, NJ collectibles shows:

      They marked every All-Star Game from 1985-1988:

     Gold Gloves:

      Milestones such as his 300th career home run:

      200th home run as a Yankee:

       5th straight season of 100 or more RBI (if Rickey Henderson hadn't missed 1/3rd of the 1987 season for injuries, Winfield would have ended up with seven straight seasons from 1982-1988, he only missed it by 3 RBI in 1987):

      And even just an impressive 1987 Opening Day:

      Colorano, who had been issuing covers since the early 1970s, captured the event of Dave's 400th career home run (Gateway did as well, I just haven't found it yet):

      Photo File, Major League Baseball's primary photograph licensee, has dispensed with the silk and gone to printing the photos directly on the envelope paper for their Hall of Fame Induction Day covers.  I presume a cover was issued for each of Dave's teams, but thus far, I've only see them for San Diego, New York and Minnesota (though the Hometown Hero Station cover for Minnesota may be something completely unrelated):

       They've added a great extra bit of color to my Dave Winfield collection, and at what I would consider fairly reasonable prices.  Even including the signed 1979 cachet, I've managed not to pay more than $10 for any of them.

       For more ecstatic philatelic fun, be sure to visit these blogs and sites for a wider look at the world of baseball first day covers:
Rickey Henderson Collectibles
The Pete Rose Baseball Collection

Or check eBay, maybe there are a few of your favorite player or team.

Cachets and First Day Covers on eBay


  1. These are awesome... I want to find some of these Winfields (on the Padres) cachets.

  2. Love the cachet's! It's always fun to see them pictured all lined up together. I have a want list of Rickey's, but haven't tracked any down recently. Now I might have to go try and remedy that :)