Discovered by our consignor in a “junk box” at a rural North Carolina flea market, the offered 1980 Charlotte O’s Police Orange Border Cal Ripken Jr. cornerstone is proof positive that remarkable and unexpected finds still occur in the hobby. Graded 4.5 VG-EX+ by BVG, this “King of Modern Minor League Cards” is one of only 22 confirmed examples validated by the three major grading services (PSA, SGC, BGS/BVG) and likely fewer survive due to “crossover” resubmissions. Since the monumental initial Orange Border Ripken offering in October 2013, a handful of additional copies have trickled through the marketplace. However, with such an important early “Iron Man” piece, the vast major of Ripken die-hards have yet to handle, let alone own a copy of the 1980 Charlotte O’s Police minor league card.
This particular specimen is crease-free with average corner wear, decent centering and gleaming surface hues. The portrait of the future Hall of Famer is set at Crockett Park and bolstered by intricate uniform detailing that emerges from a bright orange foundation. Well-concealed staple indentations are noticeable below Ripken’s neckline but do not seriously compromise its overall presentation. The “hints” reverse is absent of writing. More on our website.
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 was made even more challenging as most cards were ultimately discarded or extensively handled. The few examples of this “Iron Man” have recently begun to trade for five figures in any condition.