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2001 Yankee Stadium Base from Cal Ripken Jr.'s Final Game at Yankee Stadium - Signed and Dated by Cal Ripken
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,175
Few baseball players in modern times have enjoyed both the success and popularity of Cal Ripken Jr. When Ripken announced that the 2001 season would be his last, fans in each American League city joined with their respective club in giving baseball's legendary "Iron Man" a hero's sendoff during his farewell appearance. Ripken's final road trip in 2001 culminated, fittingly, in New York, with the final game of that three-game series taking place on September 30th. Offered here is one of the specially produced bases used during Ripken's historic final game at Yankee Stadium. The standard white base features Ripken's number "8" on the top in two-tone orange and black paint. Two of the four sides display an honorary number "8" insert, while the other two sides feature, respectively, the Yankees team logo and the Major League Baseball logo. The date, "9-30-01," is written on the underside in blue marker. This base was originally obtained directly from Major League Baseball and features an MLB Authentication hologram label affixed to the base (hologram number GT040308). As noted on the MLB website, this base was one of nine "Ripken" bases used that day (three sets of bases were used during the game). Normally, two sets of bases are used during a standard Major League game, but Ripken's final game at Yankee Stadium was a marathon affair that ended in a 1-1 tie after fifteen innings. The extra innings therefore probably necessitated the use of a third set of bases. After obtaining this base from MLB, the original owner had it inscribed by Ripken at a private signing. Ripken made special note of its date of use by signing the base in gold paint pen (grading "9") on the top "Cal Ripken Jr. 9-30-01." A capacity crowd of over 55,000 people flocked to Yankee Stadium on September 30th to say goodbye to Ripken. Although he played the entire game, Ripken's bat, like those of most of his teammates, was rendered silent by Roger Clemens and the Yankees' dominant bullpen. Ripken went 0-7 in his final game at the fabled "House That Ruth Built," but that performance did not in any way put a damper on the grand finale of what was a yearlong celebration honoring one of the greatest players in modern history. The base (15 x 15 x 2 inches) displays moderate use, including numerous cleat marks and soiling. This is an extremely significant piece of game-used equipment, with impeccable provenance, commemorating the end of Ripken's twenty-one-year Hall of Fame career. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,175
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