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RITM
07-09-2013, 10:38 PM
Greetings everyone. New user checking in. I look forward to getting to know the collecting community here at Net54.

My user ID is a reference to a website I built in 2006. I have collected Cal Ripken, Jr., ever since I have been collecting. I still have a copy of Cal's 1982 Topps rookie card that I got as a kid when I traded a box of UD basketball cards my mom bought me. The box had the Shaq Trade Upper Deck redemptions.

As an adult my attention focused on Cal's minor league cards. It was cool to be able to grab a card of a guy before he was famous. I learned that Cal had 4 minor league cards by himself and 2 cards that were a checklist/team photo. My goal was to someday own all of Cal's minor league cards.

When I took a job in 2004 I decided to jump at the opportunity to purchase a blue bordered 1980 WBTV card as a gift to myself. Fast forward to the fall of 2006 and I was able to purchase Cal's "Holy Grail" of minor league cards, a 1980 Charlotte O's Police orange bordered card. Very little was known about the card at that time so I had to research. I found a gentleman who worked for Cal's Ironclad Authentics and sent a note asking for help. To this day we are great friends.

In our initial conversations I told him that I had the blue bordered WBTV. He asked for a scan. Little did I know at the time that the 1980 WBTV was being used by counterfeiters. Sure enough, my WBTV was a counterfeit. I was pretty upset because I try to do my homework on big purchases. The information was simply not there. Having the new information I realized that counterfeits were being sold at least once per month at prices up to $1,000. I tried to get auctions pulled but it is not like I had credible information to back me up. With all of that said I decided to build a website to help others, ripkenintheminors.com

7 years later the site has grown to something I could have never imagined. I have been able to chronicle all of Cal's minor league cards, expand outside the cards and help educate a lot of fellow collectors. The site has been featured nationally and was even included in a recent book about the longest game in professional baseball history. The biggest honor of all was having Cal to personally participate in multiple interviews to help share his recollections about his minor league days.

Over the past few weeks, Cal's minor league cards have been hot. Take a look at recent sales:

June 6: PSA 6 WBTV - $2,499 (Ebay Buy It Now)

June 11: PSA 6 WBTV - $3,499 (Ebay But It Now)

June 11: PSA 2 Charlotte Police - $2,499 (Ebay Buy It Now)

June 14: SGC 40 WBTV - $2,750 not including commission (Huggins and Scott)

June 30: PSA 5 Charlotte Police with 17 singles from the 1980 Charlotte Police set - $6,500 (Ebay)

June 30: PSA 6 WBTV with the rest of the team set - $4,500 (Ebay)

June 30: 1981 Rochester Lot. The lot included PSA 9 copies of Cal's TCMA, WTF and WTF checklist. The lot also included singles from the 1981 TCMA set and a Brooks Carey card from the 1981 WTF set - $1,650 (Ebay)

June 30: 1981 WTF Rochester Red Wings Uncut Sheet (There are only 50 sheets in existence) - $600 (Ebay Best Offer)

Leon
07-09-2013, 11:06 PM
Great info and welcome to the board....

RCMcKenzie
07-10-2013, 02:12 AM
www.ripkenintheminors.com

Great website. I did not know about these cards. I want the Larry Anderson 1980 Charlotte card now. As an Astro fan, Anderson was a key to the Astros march to their failed World Series appearance against the White Sox. Anderson and his Mariano Rivera-like cutter, brought Bagwell from the Red Sox at the trade deadline.

jp1216
07-10-2013, 07:24 AM
Welcome to Net54!
Love the website, but prefer the little brother....

http://www.billripken.com :D

RITM
07-10-2013, 12:18 PM
Thanks to everyone for the welcome.

I recently wrote an article about the recent spikes in sales. Once the article goes live I will be sure to share it here.

Leon
07-10-2013, 02:16 PM
This was posted in the Correct post-war section but I thought it so informative I wanted the most members possible to see it. thanks...

Rich Klein
07-10-2013, 02:48 PM
Which for $1500 included a complete Orange set and when I showed to deal to a minor league expert, he told us that the Ripken set paid for the whole deal back then.

That deal looks better and better with each passing day and no the Ripken set is not mine and not up for sale.

Rich

bcbgcbrcb
07-10-2013, 04:27 PM
Nice research there. This is mine, I will take $3,500 for it..........

roarfrom34
07-10-2013, 04:29 PM
www.ripkenintheminors.com

Great website. I did not know about these cards. I want the Larry Anderson 1980 Charlotte card now. As an Astro fan, Anderson was a key to the Astros march to their failed World Series appearance against the White Sox. Anderson and his Mariano Rivera-like cutter, brought Bagwell from the Red Sox at the trade deadline.

not the same Larry Anderson you are referring to

GoldenAge50s
07-10-2013, 08:20 PM
The site has been featured nationally and was even included in a recent book about the longest game in professional baseball history. The biggest honor of all was having Cal to personally participate in multiple interviews to help share his recollections about his minor league days.


Welcome aboard!

In your quote above I assume you are referring to Dan Barry's "Bottom of the 33rd" and I notice you devote a nice section of your website to the "Longest Game".

Living not too far away from Pawtucket & McCoy Stadium, I'm a big fan of the Pawsox and wanted to post a couple of items you might have interest in seeing.

I attended the end of the Longest Game w/ my then BILaw, who was a reporter w/ the Providence Journal. I have my ProJo Press Pass signed by the Team owner Ben Mondor (since deceased), winning pitcher Bobby Ojeda, Dave Koza (winning RBI), Marty Barrett (scored winning run) & the 2 HOFer's who played in that game, Cal & Wade Boggs.

Also have the book signed by Dan Barry (who before going to the NY Times was on staff @ Providence Journal.)

(I'll bet you even know Bill Haelig, Cal's #1 Fan, who was instrumental in getting Cal to sign my Press Pass!)

RCMcKenzie
07-10-2013, 08:32 PM
not the same Larry Anderson you are referring to


Good catch. You are right. The player in the Charlotte minor league card set would be Lawrence Dennis Anderson.

I was referring to Larry Eugene Andersen.

bbcard1
07-10-2013, 08:44 PM
Though it is in storage, I'll try to dig out my Bluefield Orioles program with a fresh-from-the-prom Ripken photo....it was really just a flat sheet but pretty cool. I've had it for a long, long time.

Lordstan
07-10-2013, 09:15 PM
Welcome Chris.
Great site you have there.
I've perused it multiple times over the years. Lots of cool info.

Fred,
I love the press pass. Great item with a great story as well.


Here is mine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v222/lordstan/Lou/RipkenCharlotte.jpg

Best,
Mark

RITM
07-10-2013, 09:46 PM
Welcome aboard!

In your quote above I assume you are referring to Dan Barry's "Bottom of the 33rd" and I notice you devote a nice section of your website to the "Longest Game".

Living not too far away from Pawtucket & McCoy Stadium, I'm a big fan of the Pawsox and wanted to post a couple of items you might have interest in seeing.

I attended the end of the Longest Game w/ my then BILaw, who was a reporter w/ the Providence Journal. I have my ProJo Press Pass signed by the Team owner Ben Mondor (since deceased), winning pitcher Bobby Ojeda, Dave Koza (winning RBI), Marty Barrett (scored winning run) & the 2 HOFer's who played in that game, Cal & Wade Boggs.

Also have the book signed by Dan Barry (who before going to the NY Times was on staff @ Providence Journal.)

(I'll bet you even know Bill Haelig, Cal's #1 Fan, who was instrumental in getting Cal to sign my Press Pass!)

Greetings sir. Thank you for the nice welcome. The quote is a reference to Dan's book. When I first heard of the book I made an effort to contact Dan. In the message I told him about my site. To my absolute astonishment, Dan told me that he was aware of the site and that he had made it a point to thank the site in the book. Such a great honor to have been included in that book. Since creating the site I have heard so many wonderful stories about guys that played with Cal. As I would talk to some of them and do some interviews I thought that these stories should be chronicled before the stories are lost forever. Stories like Bobby Bonner not getting a 1983 World Series ring and the things he has accomplished outside of baseball. Stories like Cat Whitfield, a guy who beat out Cal for SS in 1980. In fact, the only time Cal saw action at SS in 1980 was when Whitfield got married and you better believe that Cat was ready to get back to the team after getting married. Stories about the raw power of Drungo Hazewood. Dan did a beautiful job with the book. For anyone who has not heard of it, I would recommend buying a copy. It is not just a book about the longest game in history. It is a book about life, players, and the people they love. I was not aware that Dan was with the Journal before going to the Times. I may have ready that before, but it could've slipped my mind. That certainly explains so much of his passion.

I love the press pass. Would you have a problem with me posting a scan of it on my site? I would give you full credit for the scan.

I do know Bill. In 2006, I purchased a 1980 orange Police Ripken. I was thrilled. In my mind, I had finally completed a run of Cal's solo minor league cards. I wanted to learn more about the orange card but there was nothing online about the card. I heard of Bill and sent him a message. He responded within a day. In the process of our conversations he inquired about my WBTV. I sent a scan and he confirmed it was counterfeit. He taught me how to spot a counterfeit and I decided to do something to help my fellow collectors. With a lot of his help, the site was created. His knowledge and willing to share scans gave the site the credibility that it needed early on. Bill is great people. A true friend to the hobby. That is great that he was able to assist with getting the pass signed.

GoldenAge50s
07-11-2013, 12:07 AM
Sounds like you had some great learning experiences putting together your site!

You are welcome to post it--It is a rather unusual Cal artifact to say the least & hopefully your visitors will find it interesting!

NOTE: Earlier this eve, before I posted, I got an EM & picture from the Pawtucket Red Sox-- Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game. Bill H was in the Press Box w/ Pawsox announcer Jeff Levermore, watching the game & being interviewed. Like our remodeled McCoy Stadium, the LV ballpark is a Minor Lg beauty!

RITM
07-11-2013, 10:47 PM
Not sure if you ever saw this, but here is a completed auction for a game used baseball from the 24th inning. Major cash sale:

http://www.lelands.com/Auction/AuctionDetail/67411/June-2011-Catalog/Sports/Baseball-Equipment/Lot183~The-Longest-Game-in-Baseball-Game-Used-Ball

sayhey24
07-12-2013, 11:33 AM
Here's Cal's game used bat from his days with Bluefield.

Greg

RITM
07-12-2013, 12:11 PM
Here's Cal's game used bat from his days with Bluefield.

Greg

Wow! I would love to hear the story behind it.

bcbgcbrcb
07-13-2013, 04:54 PM
Thanks for the heads-up on the hot market for Ripken minor league cards. I listed my Charlotte card on e-bay this morning and it sold this afternoon for a nice price.

RITM
07-14-2013, 02:13 PM
Thanks for the heads-up on the hot market for Ripken minor league cards. I listed my Charlotte card on e-bay this morning and it sold this afternoon for a nice price.

My pleasure. Congratulations on the great sale!

RITM
07-19-2013, 12:44 AM
Hi folks. Earlier this month, Chris Gilmore of Freedom Card Board invited me to write an article about the recent surge in sales of Cal's minor league cards. Here is a copy of the article for those interested:


Ripken Minor League Cards Reaching Major League Prices

Collectors of Cal Ripken, Jr., are known to be as consistent at the Iron Man himself. Since retiring from baseball in 2001, his cards and memorabilia have demanded steady premiums. With his inclusion in many current products, along with his name on the “Ripken League” division of youth baseball, Ripken has the opportunity to appeal to a new generation of collectors.

The Major League resume of Cal Ripken, Jr., includes a Rookie of the Year Award, World Series Championship, 19 All-Star Game selections, two American League Most Valuable Player Awards, and a consecutive game streak of 2,632 games. Cal’s Hall of Fame selection was the third highest in history. Despite the Major League resume, it is the Minor League past of Cal that is garnering attention from the hobby.

As a senior pitcher at Aberdeen (MD) High School, Cal would post a 7-2 record and .79 ERA. In the Class-A State Championship Game, Cal would throw a 2 hitter and strike out 17. On June 6, 1978, the Baltimore Orioles selected Cal in the second round (48th overall) of the Amateur Draft and sent him to the Appalachian League Bluefield Orioles. In 63 games with Bluefield, Cal hit .264. During the 1979 season, Cal played for the Miami Orioles of the Florida State League. Cal hit .303 with 5 home runs and 54 RBI as a 19 year old. He earned a spot on the Topps National All-Star Team, was a FSL All-Star, and was named the Class A Shortstop of the Year.

For the 1980 season, Cal played for the AA Charlotte O’s of the Southern League. Cal helped the O’s with his offense (.276-25-78) and defense (Southern League leader at 3B with a .933 fielding percentage). Cal and the O’s would sweep the Memphis Chicks 3-0 to win the 1980 Southern League Championship. Cal was a 1980 Southern League All-Star and was given the opportunity to play in the Caribbean Winter League. Cal would receive the first of two consecutive Team MVP Awards with Caugas. The 1980 season with Charlotte also brought about another milestone for Cal: He received his first trading card. On May 30, 1980, exactly two years to the day before “The Streak” began, a blue-bordered set sponsored by WBTV of Charlotte was given out to fans 14 and under. The 28-card shrink-wrapped set had a production run of 1,400 sets. However, there is question as to whether 1,400 sets left Crockett Park that night.

When interviewed for my website, Ripken in the Minors, Marshall Hester shared his recollections of May 30, 1980. Marshall was the Traveling Secretary for the 1980 Charlotte O’s.

The night the cards were given out either we had a sparse crowd or there was a distribution SNAFU because after the game there were hundreds and hundreds of unopened packs left around the concourse. The GM wanted everything cleaned up that night before we left and that included these cards. I assume it was the GM because the souvenir manager had orders from higher up to get rid of the leftover cards. A grocery cart was always tucked in a storage room on the concourse. My kid brother, age 13 and my clubhouse rat, got the cart and we went up and down the concourse chunking the cards into the cart. It filled the entire cart I know because it was tough trying to push it to the dumpster. Into the dumpster the cards went and that was that. My brother may have stuck a set or two in his pocket but I didn't take any. It was no big deal.

Marshall’s “kid brother”, Stuart Hester, remembers the night of May 30, 1980.

It was a sparse attendance that night. As a result, there was a large amount of promotional card sets left over. At the end of the night, the sets were gathered into a large grocery cart. The cart was overflowing and heavy and my help was needed to push the cart to the dumpster. I did manage to keep my one set.

Cat Whitfield beat out Cal for the Shortstop position for the 1980 Charlotte O’s. Although he does not remember the specific events of May 30, 1980, he does remember that there were “a lot of cards leftover. How many do you want? I don’t remember if it was a bad crowd or not. Marshall may very well be correct.”

Regardless of the circumstances of the night, Cal remembers his first trading card. In the July 2007 issue of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, Kevin Haake, Associate Editor of the publication, interviewed Cal Ripken, Jr. In the interview, Cal commented on his 1980 WBTV Charlotte O's card when asked "Did you ever actively collect your own Rookie Card?" Cal's response was as follows: "No, I never went looking for them, but I've got them all. The card I have the most quantity of is my 1980 Charlotte WBTV minor league card. This was my first baseball card ever, so I was pretty excited. Somewhere, I've got a box full of those sets."

The 1980 Charlotte O’s WBTV set brings strong premiums. It is for this reason that Cal’s WBTV carries the most need for caution due to counterfeits on the market. During June 2013, Cal’s WBTV cards saw huge spikes in premiums:

June 6: PSA 6 WBTV - $2,499 (Ebay Buy It Now)

June 11: PSA 6 WBTV - $3,499 (Ebay Buy It Now)

June 14: SGC 40 WBTV - $3,231.25 ($2,750 plus commission, Huggins and Scott)

June 30: PSA 6 WBTV with the rest of the team set - $4,500 (Ebay)

The hot sales continued to the month of July. On July 13, a 1980 WBTV graded SGC 80 sold for $3,500 (Ebay Buy It Now).

Population reports from the “big three” of grading (BGS, PSA, SGC) would suggest that far fewer than 1,400 sets are available. As of July 2, 2013, the three grading services have slabbed a combined total of 46 copies.

BGS: 9 copies
PSA: 34 copies
SGC: 3 copies

Although population reports are useful, it is important to remember that population reports are not a 100% accurate measurement. When looking over population report numbers, it is important to consider that cards can be crossed over multiple times. Total population numbers also do not reflect cards that have been broken out of slabs and resubmitted. With that being said, it is possible that total populations for cards could actually be lower than the numbers presented.

Unbeknownst to Cal, his second trading card was also produced during the 1980 season. This card, sponsored by the Charlotte Police Department, featured a design similar to its WBTV counterpart with some exceptions: The Charlotte O’s Police card featured an orange border and did not include the WBTV logo. In addition, the back of the Police card included crime prevention and baseball tips. The 1980 Charlotte O’s Police cards were never collated in set form. During the summer of 1980, Officers from the Charlotte Police Department gave out the cards to young people of the Charlotte area.

Cal’s 1980 Charlotte Police card, considered Cal’s “Holy Grail”, is extremely rare. As of July 2, 2013, the “big three” of grading (BGS, PSA, SGC), have only slabbed 21 copies of Cal’s orange bordered Police card:

BGS: 3 copies
PSA: 14 copies
SGC: 4 copies

To put the scarcity in perspective, the T206 Honus Wagner, often referred to as “The Card”, has a population of 47 copies as of the July 2, 2013, PSA and SGC Population Reports.

During June 2013, Cal’s 1980 Charlotte Police cards also saw a spike in premiums in two auction listing appearances.

June 11: PSA 2 Charlotte Police - $2,499 (Ebay Buy It Now)

June 30: PSA 5 Charlotte Police with 17 singles from the 1980 Charlotte Police set - $6,500 (Ebay)

It is worth noting that since October 4, 2006, there are only ten recorded sales of this card.

In addition to the sales from Cal’s Charlotte issues, his 1981 Rochester Red Wings issues have also seen increases. On June 30, a Rochester lot including PSA 9 copies of Cal's TCMA, WTF and WTF checklist sold for $1,650. The lot also included singles from the 1981 TCMA set and a Brooks Carey card from the 1981 WTF set. On the same day, an uncut sheet of 1981 WTF Rochester Red Wings cards sold for $600. Only 50 sheets remained uncut by set producer Steve Kozel in 1981. Kozel, a college student who used the WTF set to pay for his last year of college, would go on to work with the USA Baseball Team.

For collectors familiar with Cal’s minor league cards, the sales data is not that surprising. For collectors not familiar with Cal’s minor league issues, there may be some confusion as to how cards produced in 1980-1981 can be bringing such huge premiums.

James Feagin is Head Writer for Huggins & Scott Auctions. James is also a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. His love affair for the Orioles began in 1984 as an eight year old when his family moved from California to Maryland. When Eddie Murray was traded in 1988, Ripken became his new focus. As the 1990s wore on and "The Streak" came into prominence, Ripken became the focal point of his collecting endeavors. After a serious seven-year search, James acquired a 1980 Charlotte O’s Police Cal Ripken, Jr.

When asked to share his thoughts about Cal’s minor league cards, James said the following: “I'm convinced the orange border (Police) will be a 10K card in any condition one day. I also believe the blue border (WBTV) is a safe bet to jump to 5K. The TCMA will hold it's value, but I think the WTF card is seriously undervalued and a great buy. Being that I'm one of the fortunate few who make a full-time living in the industry, I personally see millions of cards come through our auction house every year. It is very hard to impress me and I only collect the team I love. With that in mind, early Ripken minor league material is a prime choice. It is truly rare.”

Bill Haelig is a long time Baltimore Orioles fan and collector. Bill is well known in hobby circles as having the most comprehensive collection of Cal Ripken, Jr., cards and memorabilia in the country. Bill also works directly with Cal through Ironclad Authentics. Sports Illustrated named Bill as the "Iron Man of Cal Collectors" in its commemorative "2131" edition.

When asked for his thoughts about Cal’s 1980 Charlotte issues, Bill said the following: “I think the fact that most collectors have overlooked when it comes to both the Blue/WBTV and Orange/Police cards is not only the scarcity of these issues, but more importantly the unique circumstances that surround the distribution of both of these cards back in 1980. You have the Blue cards that were given away to kids one evening at Crockett Park in May of 1980, with first hand accounts of many of these complete sets never getting in the hands of children, compounded with the devastating fire that completely destroyed this stadium in 1985. In addition, the orange cards that were never collated as a set, but were to given to kids by the Charlotte Police Department. All of these years later, less than 50 examples can be accounted for. All of this makes these cards SO much more intriguing. I picked up my first WBTV set in 1985 for $10 and when I finally discovered that the Orange Police card even existed shortly thereafter, it took me nearly two years to track one down! Tell me one other minor league card set in the last 35 years that can compete with this set of circumstances, coupled with the fact that one of the players in that set would eventually become an iconic Hall of Fame player?"

If current trends are a sign of things to come, the minor league cards of Cal Ripken, Jr., will only continue to be a focal point of hobby discussions.

RITM
08-09-2013, 08:27 PM
Greetings everyone. I hope all is well. Sports Collectors Daily has published an article I wrote about Cal's minor league cards. You all are probably familiar with Rich Mueller, Editor for Sports Collectors Daily. I believe that Rich was at the Net54 dinner at the National. Here's the article:

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/a-grocery-cart-dumpster-and-a-police-officer-the-minor-league-cards-of-cal-ripken-jr/

Enjoy!

AMBST95
08-17-2013, 06:23 PM
I'd love to own an Orange Border. Here is my blue border. A very good article.

http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b524/ambst95/Cal%20Ripken%20Cards/1980WBTVCalRipkenCharlotteOsPSA5_zpsd43acf1e.jpg

zachtruitt
09-10-2013, 12:34 PM
That game used Ripken bat is incredible!! Also the history of the Cal minor league cards is welcome information. Thanks to everyone who shared in this thread.

RITM
10-11-2013, 06:17 PM
Last night was a pretty big night for fans of Cal's minor league cards.

http://www.hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/showitem.pl?itemid=61289

With commission, the PSA 4 1980 Charlotte O's Ripken sold for $11,850.00.