When, in France, La Poste organizes anticipated sales for first day of issue and sells each time mainly to the same collectors, the United States Postal Service just presents inaugural ceremonies (with first day cancellations of course).
From time to time, one of these ceremonies has got a mediatic potential, like the one that took place on Wednesday 16 July in the federal capital Washington. You can discover reports by witnesses and photographs on the Virtual Stamp Club.
On the White House's South Lawn, President of the United States George Walker Bush God bless his future retirement was invited to a base-ball match by children and to reveal the postage stamp issued for the centenary of Take Me Out to the Ball Game song, one of the most popular sport hymns that only this country can create.
The Chief of State being always followed by a swarn of journalists, the USPS can hope for many reports on television and radio channels, on digitalized or ink printed papers... and wait for the orders. The 42 cent stamp was designed by Richard Sheaff, one of the more prolific illustrator working for the USPS.
On a special page of the USPS website, Piney Bowes' personalised stamps are presented too under the excuses to frank your mail with pictures of your favorite base-ball teams. Rates make La Poste's Montimbramoi be a present in comparison:
* twenty 42-cent pre-personalised stamps at 17.95 dollars for a face value of 8.40 Oïe!
* just six then, for the boy's collection? 9.95 dollars only... 2.52 face value Pfiou!
Hopefully, USPS offers you for free (yes, free) one pre-adressed parcel if you want to donate new or used base-ball glove to Pitch In For Baseball, whose goal is to present this sport to children all over the world.
4 August 2008 update
Reported by Linn's Stamp News (read The Virtual Stamp Club), based on an internal USPS e-mail, two art directors were thanked ("être remercié" in French is a polite hypocritical way to say "you're fired"). Coincidentally, the two last United States' stamp issues on 16 July 2008 were supervised by these two men: Take Me Out to the Ball Game for Richard Schaeff and Black Cinema for Carl T. Herrman.