Cal Ripken Jr., 2001 special edition

Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Third Base
Value of card: One DNP
Key Sept. 3, 2001, stat: Zero consecutive games played
Not making this up: On Sept. 3, 2001, the Baltimore Orioles opened up a three-game set at Oakland. It was widely known that the Iron Man, Cal Ripken Jr., would retire at the end of the season, making every road trip a going-away of sorts. Ballparks around the nation agreed to distribute free Ripken baseball cards to their fans as a way of honoring the owner of the most-consecutive-games streak. The problem on this day? The man of the hour sat out. That's right, baseball's Iron Man took Labor Day off. Fans hoping to catch a baseball hero play one last time — and possibly for the first time — instead got to watch fill-in third baseman Tony Batista go 0-for-3 with a strikeout as the hometown A's won 4-2. While this card itself is not a bust, the story behind it most certainly is.

Card submitted by Dom Calicchio

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