Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie Cards and Autograph Memorabilia Buying Guide

Cal Ripken Jr.

Date of Birth: 8/24/1960
Rookie Card Year: 1982
Investment Rating: 7.5


Overview
Cal Ripken Jr. is a player that immediately brings to mind the greatness of baseball. The "Iron Man" carries credibility with collectors who still long for the days of Ruth and DiMaggio. He's also young enough that younger collectors can better relate to his accomplishments, making Cal Ripken Jr. cards coveted by a big cross-section of fans.

While Cal Ripken Jr. cards and memorabilia sell at strong prices, there is little likelihood for significant increases as he gets older. The last big milestone was his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2007, and values should hold steady over the long-term.

Ripken only has three true rookie cards, each of which sell for reasonable amounts. As with most older rookie cards, graded versions tend to sell the most consistently with the gem mint cards going for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Another card from his rookie season, the 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. is also strongly pursued by collectors. However, it is not considered a true rookie because Ripken was already featured in the main 1982 Topps Baseball set.

Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie Card Checklist

1982 Donruss Cal Ripken RC #405

1982 Donruss Cal Ripken Jr.  Image

The 1982 Donruss Cal Ripken rookie portrays a classic close-up shot of the young star. Centering issues make extremely high-grade copies of the card somewhat difficult to find. The simple design does not detract from the card's appeal. It is one of the best Cal Ripken Jr. cards.

1982 Fleer Cal Ripken RC #176

1982 Fleer Cal Ripken Jr.  Image

The 1982 Fleer design is even more basic. It's to the point that it is hard to distinguish as a real baseball card. Not even the brand name is present on the front. Other than the photo, the only thing on the front is a thin orange border and name plate. Of the three rookie Cal Ripken Jr. cards, this is the least desirable.

1982 Topps #21 Cal Ripken Jr. RC #21 with Bob Bonner, Jeff Schneider

1982 Topps Cal Ripken Jr.  Image

Although this card has the highest book value of the three rookie Cal Ripken Jr. cards,  the fact that he shares it with two other players who accomplished nothing hurts its overall appeal. Instead, many collectors have adopted Ripken's 1982 Topps Traded card as his most desirable, even if it's not a true rookie card.

1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. #98T

1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr 213x300 Image

Although it's not an official rookie card, this is the most popular of the Cal Ripken Jr. cards released in 1982. Less readily available, although not rare, it's much more visually appealing seeing the legend pictured solo.

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Cal Ripken Jr. Orioles Lot (7) w 1982 Donruss Rookie 1983 1984 HOF BV$68.00
$33.99
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1982 TOPPS #21 BOB BONNER RC CAL RIPKEN RC JEFF SCHNEIDER RC birthdate err
$25.00
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1982 Topps Traded #98T Cal Ripken RC Rookie BGS BCCG 10 MINT Baltimore Orioles
$199.99
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1982 TOPPS CAL RIPKEN JR RC - VERY NICE CARD - LOOK!
$27.95
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1982 Fleer Baseball #176 * CAL RIPKEN JR * Orioles RC Rookie Card * PSA 9 * MINT
$89.99
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Two! 1982 Fleer Baseball Complete Sets NM Cond. Cal Ripken Jr. RC
$7.50
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Beckett 1982 Fleer Cal Ripken Rookie #176 7.5 nm+ with subs of 10 9.5 7.5 7.5
$13.99
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1982 Fleer #176 Cal Ripken Jr. ROOKIE Baseball Card PSA NRMT-MT 8 Orioles HOFer!
$39.95
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Autograph Guide

Cal Ripken Jr. Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic Cal Ripken Jr.  autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, Tristar and Sports Card Guaranty. In addition, Cal Ripken Jr. has his own authentication company called "Ironclad Authentics". Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Cal Ripken Cut Signature Exemplar

Cal Ripken Jr. Signature Image

Cal Ripken Jr. Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Cal Ripken Jr. signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. Entire signature is written on a relatively level horizontal plane.
  2. The letter "C" is over-sized and surround the letter "a" on the top and bottom.
  3. The pen lifts to start the letter "a", which flows into what is obviously the letter "l" but resembles more of an "e" due to its small size.
  4. The pen lifts again to start "Ripken", which is represented by the letter "R" with an open loop, and a very small letter "i", which is even smaller than the "l" in "Cal", the letter "i" is dotted but haphazardly, often appearing over the letter "R."
  5. Cal pays tribute in his signature to his namesake, Cal Ripken Sr., by having the largest later of the signature be a very distinct and over-sized letter "J."
  6. The letter "r" is implied and the signature is finished with a period after the letter "J."
  7. The letter "L" is very flamboyant with a big loop at the top.
  8. The remaining letters are very clear.
  9. He often uses an inscription of his jersey number "11."

Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Baseballs

Active Listings for Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Baseballs

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Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Bat Pricing:

Active Listings for Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Bats

Cal Ripken Jr Signed Bat Image Cal Ripken Signed Commemorative Bat Image

Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Batting Helmet Pricing:

Active Listings for Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Batting Helmet

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Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for Cal Ripken Jr. Signed Photograph

Cal Ripken Signed Photo Image Cal Ripken Signed Photo XM 817x1024 Image

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2005 DONRUSS SIGNATURE CAL RIPKEN JR. #17 SIGNED CARD AUTO PSA DNA 83213863
$199.99
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CAL RIPKEN JR SIGNED PSA DNA 1992 FLEER CERTIFIED AUTOGRAPH AUTHENTIC
$59.00
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1999 Flair Showcase Cal Ripken Jr. On Card Auto Signed JSA Certified Authentic
$49.99
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Cal Ripken 1986 Topps #340 Autograph Signed PSA DNA Orioles HOF NM-MT 8
$65.00
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Cal Ripken Jr Baseball SIGNED in case w COA JSA W340956
$139.50
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Cal Ripken Jr Autograph Signed Program psa dna Dwight Evans Baltimore Orioles
$219.00
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Cal Ripken signed Baltimore Orioles 1985 Fleer baseball card Psa slabbed
$65.00
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CAL RIPKEN JR. ORIOLES SIGNED 3X5 INDEX CARD JSA COA ID:21207
$59.00
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CAL RIPKEN JR 1991 Stadium Club #430 AUTOGRAPH BGS JSA Authentic AUTO SIGNED
$59.99
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1984 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. & Mike Bodicker Dual Signed Orioles Leaders Auto JSA
$101.15
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CAL RIPKEN JR SIGNED AUTO VINTAGE ORIOLES PHOTO CUSTOM FRAMED TO 14X18 JSA COA
$82.99
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Cal Ripken Jr. full size signed helmet PSA DNA **No Reserve**
$120.00
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1982 Fleer Cal Ripken Jr Rookie #178 PSA Certified Auto Autograph Signed
$46.00
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Cal Ripken Jr. psa dna signed 1990 Donruss #96 slabbed HOF Orioles
$59.95
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CAL RIPKEN, JR. AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED ORIOLES 16X20 PHOTO PSA DNA ID #77882
$139.00
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Cal Ripken Jr signed Official American League baseball, JSA
$225.00
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More Info

Don't miss our other guides to collecting Cal Ripken Jr.,.

For general information and player statistics visit:


 |  E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

User Comments

  1. how much is cal ripken gold card worth?

  2. craig hendershot » Can you provide more info – What year? What company?

  3. I have quite a few baseball cards and I am needing to sell but don’t want to sell for to inexpensive. Any suggestions?

  4. I have a Cal Ripken Jr. collection I wanted to sell. There are 220 cards in the collection. I do have multiples of some cards, but there are over 150 different cards in this collection. It comes with a plaque and I would say 180 of the cards are in protectors. There is one card protector that is a Cal Ripken Jr protector that is orange and black with his name accross the top. Would anyone be interested in that collection?

  5. I am debating on selling my baseball card collection. Primarily I have Cal Ripken Jr. I have thousands. I stopped collecting a few years before he retired. Most of iron man’s cards have been in Polly and hard sleeve cases in boxes in a conditioned place. I don’t know if I have a list or currently know what they are worth. I just want to know if there is a market out there. Also, if you are reading this and are interested, please email me sondriven@live.com

  6. I am trying to find out how much actual photos taken by a family member of mine of Cal Ripken, Jr in which two are signed. Some are from a charity basketball game and the signed ones are outside of the old Memorial Stadium. There is another player in the car with him in one but I am unfamiliar with the player.

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