We’re not the type of person who collects knickknacks of any kind. These awesome new Wilt Chamberlain stamps debuted by the United States Postal Service, we’re kind of embarrassed to admit, might change that.
The stamps, designed by artist Antonio Alcala, will be available on December 5. And true to the towering tales and stature of Wilt, they’re a full two-inches tall.
Release of the artistry comes after a six-year campaign to get Chamberlain immortalized via postage, as detailed by The Phiadelphia Tribune below.
The grassroots effort began in 2008 with a tremendous amount of support from a cross section of people. Fifty-five thousand names were sent to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee on petitions. Nearly one million people “liked” him in Facebook.
The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee is a group that receives more than 5,000 stamp subjects each year. The CSAC has to select the stamps. From there a recommendation is sent to the postmaster general for approval. It’s quite a lengthy process.
In addition to signatures on petitions, several notable sports figures sent letters to the committee such as former NBA commissioner David Stern, basketball legends Al Attles, Jerry West, Pat Riley, Earl Lloyd and others. Congressman Bob Brady, Senator Bob Casey, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and others from the political arena also petitioned.
Irrespective of where Chamberlain ranks on your personal list of greatest players ever, there’s no debating his unique place in the history of basketball. No man’s on-court accomplishments can match those of The Big Dipper, who holds a mind-boggling 72 NBA records, including being the only player to score 100 points in a single outing and average over 48 minutes per game for a single season.
And the most amazing thing about Chamberlain might be that his basketball ability only accounted for a fraction of his unmatched all-around athleticism. Wilt was a champion collegiate high-jumper, a Hall-of-Fame volleyball player, and strong enough to out-lift Conan The Destroyer co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the weight room.
Chamberlain is an absolute legend, and fully deserving of such an esteemed honor. Kudos to those involved in the multi-year effort to get his likeness featured on stamps. Come the holiday season, we know what postage we’ll be using.
How many books of these stamps will you buy?
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