Joe DiMaggio to be first of four “MLB All-Star” stamps in 2012

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Starting next year the United States Postal Service will issue “Major League Baseball All-Star” stamps honoring “four players who were perennial All-Star selections and left an indelible impression on the game.”

Today they announced that Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio is the first player to be honored, with Kadir Nelson doing the artwork. I’ve never gotten into stamp collecting, but the design looks very nice.

The press release notes that “many consider him the greatest all-around player of his time,” which is certainly true. But my hope is that the player I consider the greatest of that era, Ted Williams, will also be among the four honored.

Aaron Judge returns to the Yankees lineup

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The lineups for the Red Sox-Yankees game for this evening were just released and, lo and behold, Aaron Judge is back in it for the Yankees. He’ll be batting second and playing right field.

Judge was activated four days ago but had been limited to defense and base running. As of yesterday signs pointed to him not hitting today, but he took swings in a simulated game for the second straight day today — taking advantage of the previously-scheduled day game being moved to this evening — and things must’ve gone well.

Judge has been out since late July due to a fractured wrist suffered when he was hit by a fastball from Royals pitcher Jakob Junis. He has taken longer than expected to recover from the injury and the Yankees have felt his absence as he was hitting .285/.398/.548 with 26 home runs and 61 RBI in 447 plate appearances when he went down and no one has, obviously, been able to replace his production.

Now he’s back to help the Yankees fend off the A’s for the top Wild Card spot.