June Premium Card and Memorabilia auction ending June 26-27
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This lot closes on June 26, 2021 at 10:00 PM EDT for initial bids.

Before Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. could break Lou Gehrig’s historic consecutive games played streak, he would have to tie him. That’s exactly what Ripken did when he suited up for the 2,130th consecutive time on September 5th, 1995 against the California Angels at Camden Yards. To add to the historical night, Ripken Jr. went 3-for-5 with a majestic home run in the bottom of the sixth inning during the historic game that saw the Orioles trounce the Angels 8-0.

Offered here is the very ball Ripken hit out of Camden Yards during that fateful 2,130th consecutive game that tied Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak. In one of the rarer instances where the story about this historic ball that is just as newsworthy as actual event it came from, this ball comes with an extraordinary provenance that seems like it was pulled right from a Hollywood script. Carpenter Mike Stirn of Sykesville, Maryland and his wife Tracey were seated in left field in section 84, Row EE, Seat 20 to see Cal Ripken Jr. make baseball history.

Little did Stirn know that he would be forever intertwined with the historic night when Ripken Jr. smacked a home run into the left-field seats during the sixth inning. Stirn ended up with the ball, and that’s where the story takes a Hollywood turn. Initially offered $2,500 on the spot for the ball, Stirn declined. He declined another offer and attempted to give the ball back to the Orioles, who did not respond to his requests. He then decided to sell it via auction through a Robert Urban, dubbed “Mr. Memorabilia,” with the historic ball selling for $41,578 at auction to a private seller on December 2nd, 1995. The sale of the ball gained national attention, with all the major networks, including Dan Rather and major newspapers like USA Today and the Baltimore Sun, covering the sale.

The ball was then used in a promotional display at Wal-Mart on February 22nd, 1997, put together by Urban, with over 10,000 people pouring into the store to see the historic baseball. Urban put a price tag of $1 million on the historic ball with the hopes that Wal-Mart would purchase the ball. This presented historic baseball is an Official American League Gene A. Budig baseball is the same one Ripken Jr. hit for a home run during his historic, record-tying 2,130 game. The baseball features “RAWLINGS” stamped on one panel. A stamp labeled “RIPKEN 8 2130 2131 ORIOLES” in black and has heavy elements of game use and contains abrasions, hit marks, and dirt throughout. This ball comes with a trove of provenance containing a notarized document signed by Stern and Urban, various newspaper and press clippings, invoices from the auction sale, copies of Stirn’s tickets, copies of the checks that were used to purchase the baseball, and a notarized handwritten letter by Stirn. Additionally, the winning bidder of this historic ball will have the option of having the baseball signed by Cal Ripken Jr. at his discretion that will add to this true piece of baseball history that has extraordinary provenance, cementing its place in baseball lore.

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