ThINQing Out Loud: Move to put Wilt Chamberlain on U.S. stamp gains ground

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Wilt Chamberlain is under consideration for being honored with his own postage stamp. (Paul Vathis/AP file photo)

Wilt on a stamp? Better be a big stamp.

A Philadelphia-based campaign to get Wilt Chamberlain on a U.S. stamp has gotten to the right place. According to a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, the Chamberlain-on-postage idea definitely "is under consideration."

That's no small thing. A committee sends 20 to 25 suggestions each year to the postmaster general, from "thousands of suggestions annually," said Roy Betts, manager of community relations for the Postal Service. According to Betts, stamp selections will be announced in August, but the committee, which meets four times a year, also is talking about possibilities for the next few years. A campaign started by Philadelphia Tribune sports editor Donald Hunt resulted in a steady steam of Wilt supporters, including NBA officials, contacting the Postal Service.

Why hasn't Wilt been on a stamp already? Turns out you have to be dead five years to be eligible. The Overbrook High great, considered by many to be the greatest basketball talent in the game's history, died in 1999.

Chamberlain certainly transcended basketball - he dwarfed the sport with his deeds - and has to be on any top-10 list of American athletes who deserve to be on a stamp. Hopefully, it happens before the Postal Service itself dies and there are no more stamps.

 

Artful news release of the day

The e-mail from La Salle basketball on Wednesday announced that the Explorers will meet seven-time national champion . . .

You have to scroll down another line to read that it's seven-time Canadian national champion Carleton College, an Explorers opponent in August during a preseason trip to Ottawa.

 

Twin-ability

Colleague Keith Pompey makes the point that Prep Charter graduates Marcus and Markieff Morris should be able to parlay their twin-ness and glibness into commercial opportunities beyond their NBA salaries. It's a good point. Their outspokenness isn't fake.

 

Loving Cliff

Right now, it's obviously off the charts, the adoration for Cliff Lee in this town. There is universal respect for Roy Halladay, but Lee's got something else going for him. Watercooler conversation is dominated by his every move. "He's just got it. You know . . . it," someone in my office said.

 


Contact staff writer Mike Jensen at 215-854-4489 or mjensen@phillynews.com.

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