1995 32¢ Volleyball
· Recreational Sports stamps honor popular sports enjoyed by everyday Americans
· 1995 was the 100th anniversary of the invention of volleyball
Stamp Category: Commemorative
Set: Recreational Sports
Value: 32¢, rate for first-class mail
First Day of Issue: May 20, 1995
First Day City: Jupiter, Florida
Quantity Issued: 30,000,000
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Format: Panes of 20 in sheets of 120
Why the stamp was issued: To pay tribute to the recreational sports enjoyed by everyday Americans.
About the stamp design: The USPS wanted the Recreational Sports stamps to stand out from previous sports issues. They brought in illustrator Don Weller, who created vivid, poster-style images of the athletes. He produced a number of quick sketches before settling on the five used on the stamps. He and the art director also consulted several sources to ensure the athletes were all positioned correctly for each sport.
Weller’s volleyball illustration underwent several changes. The height of the net and the athlete’s hand positions were re-done numerous times. Additionally, Weller’s first draft pictured a woman with a bikini top and hair down. After consulting the women’s volleyball coach at the University of North Florida, he gave her a more appropriate halter top and hair pulled back in a ponytail.
First Day City: The Recreational Sports stamps were issued at the Stamporee Stamp Expo at the Jupiter Beach Resort in Jupiter, Florida.
Unusual facts about the Recreational Sports stamps: A small number of freak panes were discovered in which the bottom left corners folded inward during the trimming stage. As a result, the selvage was larger in those corners and they included the alignment and other marks that are normally discarded during the trimming stage. These stamps have also been found imperforate as well as versions with the yellow omitted and the yellow, blue, and magenta omitted.
About the Recreational Sports Set: Several stamps had previously honored the Olympics and professional sports, but the USPS created these as a tribute to the most popular recreational sports in America.
Additionally, three of the sports were celebrating centennial anniversaries in 1995. The US Golf Association (USGA) had held its first championship at the Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island in 1895. The American Bowling Congress was founded on September 9, 1895. And volleyball was invented in 1895 by YMCA employee William G. Morgan.
History the stamp represents: Every day, millions of Americans gather at diamonds, courts, lanes, and links to participate in their favorite recreational sport. The five Recreational Sports se-tenants honor these amateur athletes and the games they participate in.
Since the end of World War II, sports have become an important element in modern life. More than simply providing pleasure, sports also improve an individual’s physical and mental health. In fact, Baron de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympics, found that nations that excelled in sports excelled in other areas as well. Today, higher incomes, improvements in working conditions, and better transportation allow people more time, money, and mobility for recreation, including sports.
Created in 1895 by William Morgan, a YMCA physical education instructor, volleyball was originally designed for businessmen who found the game of basketball too strenuous. First called mintonette, the name was changed when a college professor, noting the volleying nature of the game, suggested calling it volleyball. Immediately popular, it was soon being played in schools, industrial leagues, the armed forces, and other organizations. During World War I and II the sport spread to Europe, Japan, and Korea.
Today, the sport of volleyball is a far cry from the game invented by William Morgan. Although the fun still remains, it has become an intense and challenging sport requiring agility and speed.