The Undisputed King of Modern Minor League Baseball Cards! On the heels of our trailblazing October 2013 auction of the first offered 1980 Charlotte O’s Police Orange Border Cal Ripken Jr. minor league card in over seven years, a handful of additional copies have since surfaced for public sale. With such robust action of early Ripken professional material it is understandable why the handful of fortunate collectors who own this monumental piece would want to capitalize on such fervor. Quite simply, of the legions of die-hard Ripken collectors, the vast majority have never seen, let alone owned a copy of the 1980 Charlotte O’s Police minor league card. With a confirmed grading census of less than 25 copies, the incredible demand for this Ripken keepsake is understandable.
As the subject of comprehensive research from the authoritative website www.ripkenintheminors.com it is confirmed that the Orange Border set was issued for the Charlotte Police force and was distributed randomly, one-at-a-time to youngsters while on patrol or at other community functions. As such, an already elusive 25-card set (the remaining set is available in two additional lots in the auction) was made even more challenging as most cards were ultimately discarded or well handled. The handful of examples of this “Iron Man” have recently begun to trade for five figures in any condition.
Graded 8 NM-MT by Beckett Vintage Grading. It if difficult to fathom how the offered 1980 Charlotte O's Police Cal Ripken Jr. has endured the past three decades in such remarkable condition! The color saturated portrait of the 20 year-old future Hall of Famer is framed by accurate centering, barely touched corners, unchipped borders and a surface that is free of any scuffing or other detractors. The creamy reverse which includes both fielding and crime prevention tips is clean with crisp blue type. A breathtaking specimen that is one of only three copies judged by the respected grading service and bests the nearest competitor by a whopping four tiers! By comparison, only one of the 15 PSA judged examples have reached the NM-MT plateau. A majestic piece with incalculable upside potential that will hold a worthy position as the centerpiece of any advanced sports card gathering.