Summoned to the big leagues following a players’ strike that interrupted the 1981 season, Cal Ripken, Jr. hit the scene as a 20-year-old prospect with steel blue eyes and an unparalleled work ethic. This Louisville Slugger (34.4-oz/35”) “M159” signature model bat was wielded and autographed by the non-stop shortstop during his early years at Memorial Stadium. Graded GU 7.5 by PSA/DNA, the uncracked weapon shows heavy use and is signed on the barrel in black marker (“7” strength). Full photo LOAs from PSA/DNA and JSA. More on our website.
While Ripken’s tireless work habits and dedication never changed throughout his 21-year career, some of the elements of his game did. The “P72” was the weapon of choice throughout Ripken’s career, but Hillerich & Bradsby records show Ripken orders for “M159” models throughout the 1981, 1982 and 1983 seasons. This one shows excellent game use with ball, cleat and stitch marks about the barrel, as well as grain swelling in the hitting surface. The deep brown patina shows intermittent areas of minimal finish loss. The high-grade white ash lumber showcases a hickory finish and is among the earliest Ripken gamers we’ve seen.
The full photo LOA from John Taube, PSA/DNA attest to the authenticity of the bat only. The full photo LOA from JSA attests to the autograph’s authenticity.