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1986-1989 Cal Ripken Jr. Pro-Model Bat MEARS 9.5
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,333
Cal Ripken Jr. Louisville Slugger signature-model "F149" bat dating from the 1986-1989 manufacturing period. Graded A9.5 by MEARS. This is the finest Cal Ripken Jr. pro-model bat we have ever seen, let alone handled, both with regard to the amount of use displayed and the verifiable Ripken traits it possesses. Heavy use is evident along its entire length, including a plethora of deeply embedded ball and stitch marks (many displaying ink transfers from the ball), dozens of cleat marks (commonly found on Ripken bats), a light amount of pine tar on the handle, and an approximate eleven-inch "H" crack in the handle. Ideally, Ripken's uniform number ("8") is written on the knob in silver marker. It should be noted that the style in which the "8" is written here is very distinct and consistent with those on other verifiable Ripken pro-model bats. (In a personal interview with Troy Kinunen, president of MEARS, Ripkin stated that he always personally wrote his uniform number on all of his game bats.) This bat measures 35 inches in length and weighs 32.1 ounces. Factory records indicate that numerous model "F149" bats, matching the specifications of the offered bat, were sent to Ripken throughout the four-year period 1986-1989. Ripken was well into his legendary consecutive-games-played streak at the time this bat was ordered. Despite the demands incurred by playing in every game at shortstop, Ripken managed to hit over twenty home runs and drive in over 80 runs in each season between the years 1986 and 1989. An All-Star in all but one of his twenty full seasons, Ripken retired in 2001 with 431 home runs, 1,695 RBI, and a .276 lifetime average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007, his first year of eligibility. Graded A9.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use, and 2 points for the verifiable Ripken traits [number on knob, cleat marks], but minus a half point for the crack in the handle). This bat was featured as Lot 1415 in REA's May 2011 auction, where it realized a final sale price of $4,113, and has been consigned by the purchaser. When it was first offered in 2011 we noted that the bat had resided in our original consignor's advanced bat collection since 1992 and was therefore virtually new to the hobby. It basically still is, having had just two owners (after Ripken, of course). Perfect in every way, this bat would be an extraordinary addition to any Ripken or Hall of Fame bat collection. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $3,000+. SOLD FOR $5,333
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