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Harford councilman says he has valuable Cal Ripken ball

A Harford County councilman said he has one historically-significant baseball that could theoretically make him a much richer man.

Dion Guthrie said Tuesday he and his Cal Ripken Jr. signed ball will be featured on an episode of Maryland Public Television's "Chesapeake Collectibles" Thursday night, as the ball is worth "well over $100,000," according to Guthrie.

The ball is the last piece of memorabilia Ripken signed before officially retiring as an Oriole in 2001, Guthrie said.

Guthrie did the "Chesapeake Collectibles" a few months ago, when an appraiser from the show told him the ball is worth "in excess of $100,000."

The councilman has a letter signed by Orioles owner Peter Angelos confirming the ball as the last item signed by the baseball star before he retired.

"I have it framed," he said of the certificate.

Guthrie said the ball Ripken signed for him is from the 1983 World Series, the last time the Orioles won the World Championship. Ripken was a member of that team, as was his late father, Cal Ripken Sr., who was the third base coach.

"I drove him around on that day of his last game when he was officially retiring, in a 1961 Corvette, drove him around the entire field," Guthrie said after the council meeting Tuesday night.

When he asked Ripken to sign the ball, Guthrie said: "Right after I got it, I said, 'Holy cow, I got the last ball.'"

Guthrie noted he once tried to put the ball up for sale on eBay and the bidding was up to $25,000.

Guthrie was elected to the county council the year after Ripken signed the ball for him. He is serving his third term on the council, having been re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

"Chesapeake Collectibles" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on MPT and repeats at midnight and 4 a.m. Fridays, 9:30 p.m. Saturdays on MPT-HD and 6 p.m. Sundays on MPT2.

MPT is channel 22 for Comcast and Verizon for Harford and channel 12 on Armstrong. MPT-HD is mostly on channels 220 or 812, or 112 for Armstrong. MPT-2 is on 268 for Comcast and Verizon.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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