FanPost

Orioles' Billy Ripken 1989 Fleer Card

Since we are in the middle of a series with the Baltimore Orioles, I am posting this little bit of comical Orioles baseball history. Billy Ripken played second base for the Orioles (1987-92, 96) along side his brother Cal Ripken Jr. and managed by his father Cal Ripken Sr. 

Ripken posed for this 1989 Fleer baseball card holding a bat that had "F-CK FACE" hand written on the knob and clearly visible in the photograph. Once this "error" was discovered a minor scandal ensued for Fleer and it's young bubble gum chewing Orioles fans. Once the card was released, and the offensive phrase discovered, Fleer hastily issued subsequent versions of the card. The first version after the original "error card" was the white blob where a dab of thick white correction fluid was applied over the knob. The second and third versions had the phrase covered over with black marking pen and a black square. The white blob version has the highest collectible value. 

Years later, Ripken claimed the "F-CK FACE" bat was his batting practice bat and the use of it in the photo was unintentional on his part. His explanation was that he wrote the phrase on the bat himself to distinguish it from his game bats.

Billy Ripken now owns three minor league baseball teams with his brother Cal. He served most recently as the first base coach with the US National Team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

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via farm3.static.flickr.com


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