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Game-worn Johnny Unitas jersey could get between $50,000-$100,000 at Super Bowl auction

A game-worn Johnny Unitas jersey from the 1967 season is a last-minute addition to a Super Bowl week auction in Phoenix, Ariz., and is expected to sell for anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000. 

The auctioneer, Hunt Auctions, said the jersey was given to the consigner's family by then-Colts equipment manager Fred Schubach in the Memorial Stadium locker room in 1968. 

The jersey was framed and hung in the consigner's family home, and a photograph of it was featured in a 1978 issue of Sun Magazine.

Unitas, the longtime Baltimore Colts star, earned national renown for his role in the 1958 NFL Championship game, the precursor to the Super Bowl at which his game-worn jersey will be sold.

According to the listing, the jersey "rates as one of only a scant few documented Unitas game jerseys to have entered the marketplace. Museum quality and categorically one of the finest examples in private hands."

Bids can be placed online

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Orioles' one-batter bullpen usage not among league's highest

With spring training just a few weeks away, the onslaught of ideas on how to make this baseball season better has begun.

The baseball Twitter community is buzzing about a proposal, which FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported was floated by Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein this fall, one that suggests relief pitchers should required to face more than one batter in a game.

That would all but eliminate the hyper-specialization of bullpen arms that Tony La Russa introduced nearly a quarter century ago. And it would produce the two-fold result of more offense (with less specialists brought in for a single batter) and a faster pace of play a bit by theoretically reducing the number of pitching changes and mound visits.

The proposal is getting good early reviews by fans and analysts, and based on how the Orioles have used relievers in the past few years, it might even get support here.

Even with his (deserved) reputation as a master strategist, Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t be...

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Cal Ripken Jr. surprised Pocomoke High students who campaigned for him to speak at graduation

During the Orioles' playoff run in October, students at Pocomoke High School in Worcester County launched a #WeWantCal social media campaign to get Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. as their 2015 graduation speaker.

They posted Vine videos of themselves with Ripken’s iconic No. 8, tweeted at local and national media outlets to gain attention for the campaign and formed themselves in a giant “8” at midfield of their soccer field to show their commitment.

The efforts got on Ripken’s radar, and though a scheduling conflict kept him away from commencement this spring, Ripken paid the 340-student school a visit Wednesday.

The Ripken Baseball twitter account was providing updates of the event, which appeared to include a meet-and-greet with Ripken and a question-and-answer session.

Principal Annette Wallace tweeted that it was the “coolest day ever.”

I bet her students agree.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jonmeoli

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John Harbaugh was top choice for Super Bowl coverage, NBC executive says

When NBC Sports executives began planning their Super Bowl XLIX pregame show before the season even began, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was their top choice as a guest analyst.

It turns out the Ravens’ 35-31 AFC divisional round loss to the New England Patriots was NBC’s, and the Super Bowl viewers’ gain.

“John Harbaugh was our target from before the season began because he’s got Super Bowl experience, and he is an engaging personality,” NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood said on a conference call Wednesday. “It’s an easy selection. After they got knocked out in the divisional round, that was our first thought, to reach out to John.

“Obviously, having just played the Patriots three weeks prior, it gives us an incredible insight on this team and in this time frame,” Flood added. “There’s a real relevance to this, and that’s why we think it’s an extra-good add to the team.”

Flood said Harbaugh will be part of several aspects of the show, including segments with host Bob Costas and the...

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ESPN, Pro Football Focus study says Ravens' roster among NFL's best

While the two lucky teams who actually made the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, prepare for the game Sunday, a recent analysis shows just how close the Ravens’ roster was to carrying them that far.

ESPN and Pro Football Focus collaborated on a study that found the Ravens were among the closest teams, in terms of number of above-average players, to making the Super Bowl. The study found that Super Bowl teams have an average of 40 percent of above-average players among their top contributors, and the Ravens who finished with a 10-6 record, had just more than 36 percent of their players rated that highly.

The Dallas Cowboys had the requisite amount of players, while the Ravens, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles are all tied at two players away from a Super Bowl-caliber roster. That’s not terrible company to be in.

It’s a neat exercise by those involved, and features much more in-depth analysis than what can be provided here, but the...

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Terrell Suggs may have to say Tom Brady's name as NFL Network analyst

Terrell Suggs famously refuses to say New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s name, but now, he might have to. The Ravens outside linebacker has been appearing on the NFL Network as part of its Super Bowl coverage, and Brady is basically the star attraction.

Suggs, a former Arizona State star, has plenty of reason to be in Arizona, where the Super Bowl activities seem to be spread out around Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz. He’s even hosting a party this week. And according to this tweet, he just showed up at their Arizona home base and said he was working for the NFL Network this week.

In the two clips available online, in which Suggs and an endless panel of former players and coaches discuss Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s Media Day shenanigans and readjusting to football preparation after Media Day, Suggs takes a couple of shots at the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick. But he never mentioned Brady’s name.

When the two teams played in the playoffs, Suggs feigned shock...

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