As the American League’s reigning MVP, Cal Ripken, Jr. continued his tireless endeavor in 1984, playing in every inning of every game and becoming just the second-ever Orioles player to hit for the cycle. This Baltimore Orioles road jersey was worn and signed by the Birds Hall of Famer during that ’84 campaign. The gray knit button-down garment features “Orioles” angled across the chest in orange-on-black twill, “8” sewn to the back and left front and “RIPKEN” arched on a nameplate atop the back number in like fashion. On the right front, Ripken’s black marker autograph projects (“8-9”) strength and is accompanied by his inscription of “5-10-84 #8.” Light wear is evident. Full photo LOAs from Dave Miedema (for jersey) and JSA (for autograph). Proper tagging details and additional features listed on our website.
Additional features include orange-and-black striped stretch ribbed knit lining the collar, orange-white-and-black striped stretch ribbed knit sleeve endings and a fabric content laundering instructions tag on the right side seam’s interior. Within the rear tail, a lengthy strip tag has “84” and “44Z” identifiers and is accompanied by an additional strip tag with a vintage handwritten notation of “RIPKEN” (the latter feature is common to 1984 Sand-Knit gamers). The manufacturer’s size tag (from the left front tail) is no longer present. A 30th Anniversary patch is sewn to the left sleeve, while the left front tail is home to a partially detached “Medalist – Sand-Knit” Baltimore Orioles exclusivity tag.
In regards to the inscription, the date (“5-10-84”) inscribed by Ripken is of unknown significance. The Orioles (who had won five straight and 11 of 12 entering that night’s game) lost in extra innings to the Toronto Blue Jays that night. The game was played at Memorial Stadium and thus, Ripken wore his home jersey. Four days earlier in Texas, he hit for the cycle in a 6-1 rout of the Rangers. It’s entirely possible that he simply signed and dated this jersey before the May 10 game in Baltimore. What’s not a mystery, meanwhile, is that this is a tested and true gamer from a Hall of Famer, role model and spokesperson for all things good about baseball.