What better way to honor the larger-than-life Walt Chamberlain than with a larger-than-life stamp?
The 7-foot-1 basketball legend is still the only man to ever score 100 points in an NBA game, and now he's the first one to be put on a stamp. There are two versions — one depicting Chamberlain as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors, the other as a Los Angeles Laker — and both are almost 2 inches long, about a third longer than the typical stamp. "We still had trouble fitting him into those proportions," artist Kadir Nelson told The New York Times.
It takes years for stamps to go from conception to in the mail. First, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee must look at about 40,000 proposals every year, and then they recommend about 30 to the postmaster general. After that, the artist has to come in, and then approvals are needed. The Chamberlain stamp was originally going to be part of a series with three other historic players, but members of the public asked that Chamberlain, who died in 1999 at 63, be honored on his own. Because the U.S. Postal Service expects this to be a popular piece of postage, 50 million stamps will be printed.