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This is the bat Cal Ripken, Jr. used in his 2,131st consecutive game. It was Wednesday September 6, 1995. The Angels were in Baltimore to play the Orioles and Camden Yards was standing room only. The President and Vice President of the United States both were in the stands and the second largest television audience to ever watch a baseball game were rivetted to their screens. The occasion: Cal Ripken, Jr. was about to do the impossible - surpass Lou Gehrig’s 56-year-old record of consecutive games played. When the umpire called out, “Play Ball!” the book opened on Cal’s 2,131st game, and a new record had been set.

It’s impossible to imaging the thoughts that went through Cal’s head as he took his customary place at shortstop. One thing was for sure, when he stood at the same position on May 30, 1982, he had no idea that it would be the start of the pursuit of one of baseball’s most hallowed records. Over the next 2,130 games Cal took his place in the Orioles lineup, through injuries and sickness, inclement weather and pennant races. For over 15 years, if the Orioles were playing, so was Cal. When he began his streak, he did not have it in his mind to break Lou Gehrig’s record. No, playing every game was just the “Ripken Way,” the time-honored baseball work ethic instilled in he and his brothers by their father, Cal Ripken, Sr.

After exhibiting his usual flawless fielding in the first and second innings, Cal led off the bottom of the second. The Camden Yards crowd gave their hometown hero another standing ovation as he stepped up to the plate wielding his trademark black Louisville Slugger P72 bat. Facing Angels starter Shawn Boskie, the newly crowned consecutive games champ worked the count to three ball and one strike before popping the fifth pitch up in front of home plate. Catcher Jorge Fabregas pulled it in for the first out and Cal returned to the dugout. Ripken would go to have a great game at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run off Boskie in the 4th inning. Cal’s teammates responded to the electric atmosphere in the stadium, beating the Angels 4-2. From this point on, every game Cal played would be the new world’s record.

This is the bat Cal Ripken, Jr. used during his first at-bat as the new consecutive games record holder. The P72 model bat shows outstanding game use and is un-cracked. There are several ball marks and one prominent white leather ball scuff on the barrel. The center brand and barrel stamping is clear and bright, the silver ink contrasting nicely against the black finish. The handle carries a moderate coat of pine tar and both ends show scuffing from contact with the ground and other equipment. To mark the significance of this bat, a piece of white athletic tape has been affixed to the barrel on which, “1st Bat 9-6-95” has been handwritten in black marker. Additionally, a pink Baltimore Police Department evidence tag has been attached to the handle. In the days before MLB Authenticated and third-party authenticators, the local police were recruited to verify the authenticity of this the bat used during the game Cal broke Lou Gehrig’s record. It was only natural that the police would use a standard evidence tag, as this bat is indeed evidence of Cal Ripken’s place in baseball history. The handwritten notation describes the bat’s use in the second inning of the September 6, 1995 game and has been signed by the officer who recovered it. This museum-ready artifact has been augmented by Cal Ripken, Jr. who has added his flawless signature and “First AB 2131 9-6-95” on the barrel in silver marker. A true piece of history that embodies the American work ethic and the relentless pursuit of an impossible record. This bat comes with a signed LOA from Cal Ripken, Jr. for the game use and a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B19670) for the game use, who have given the highest possible grade of GU 10. There is a letter of opinion from Resolution Photomatching, while not having a conclusive photo match have provided a probable photo match. This item also comes with a COA from Beckett Authentication, who witnessed Cal Ripken, Jr. signing this item.

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