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Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Baseball Used in His Record-Breaking 2131st Game
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $2,014.50
This ball was used in the historic September 6, 1995, game at Baltimore's Camden Yards in which Cal Ripken Jr. surpassed Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played. The Rawlings Official American League (Budig) ball has a special Cal Ripken Jr. "#8" commemorative logo printed on the side panel below the official League stamp. These specially produced balls were used only during Ripken's record-tying and record-breaking games. The ball is signed "Cal Ripken Jr." ("10") in blue ink below the specially designed logo. The ball has also been signed not only by Ripken but also in blue ink by each of the four umpires who worked the game that night: "Larry Barnett A.L. #22," "Greg Kosc A.L. #18," "Al Clark AL Ump #24," and "Dan Morrison A.L. Umpire #34." The ball is accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity, written on official American League of Professional Baseball Clubs stationery, from umpire Dan Morrison which reads in part: "The Cal Ripken Jr. #8 commemorative baseball which accompanies this letter was used on the historic night in baseball history. . . . On this night Cal Ripken Jr. became baseball's new Iron Man with 2131 consecutive games."
Other game balls from this historic night have been sold in other auctions, but none of those had the extraordinary provenance and documentation that accompanies this ball. This is the ultimate Ripken #2131 game ball, signed by Ripken, the four umpires who worked the game that night, and accompanied by a signed letter on MLB stationery from the crew chief who worked the game that night (as opposed to other examples, which have sold for big money, which are not signed by the umpire crew, and which are from a retired umpire who supposedly acquired #2131 game balls from a clubhouse attendant, who allegedly related to him that the balls in question were used in the game). It doesn't get any better than this for a Ripken #2131 Game Ball. The ball is soiled and exhibits game use. Very Good to Excellent condition. Ripken's record-breaking game was one of the most memorable baseball moments of the past century. The anticipation and excitement of that night, culminating with Ripken's "victory" lap around the stadium, removed much of the sting of the 1994-1995 players' strike and helped to restore the National Pastime's tarnished image in the hearts of many fans. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $2,014.50
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