Classic card of the week

Cal Ripken, Jr -- Champagne, 1993 Milkbone Superstars

Here we have the Milkbone “Superstars” series of trading cards, in which popular Major League Baseball players posed happily with their dogs. It’s uncertain here who is the actual superstar. Cal Ripen, Jr. –- shortstop –- has the inset going for him, while Champagne -– dog -– has the “don’t eff with me or I’ll bite your friggin’ head off” look of a true superstar. Both have amazing sweaters. Let us declare them both superstars!

Because I already know the vital statistics of Cal Ripken, Jr, let’s discover more about Champagne, shall we? Indeed:

Champagne was presented to Cal’s wife as a gift along with a bottle of champagne, hence her name.

That is a fabulous story, one that I am sure is recounted in detail at lavish mid-winter dinner parties at the Ripken’s lovely suburban Maryland home. Nevertheless, I don’t get it.

Cal Ripken: Hey babe. Happy birthday. I got you a bottle of champagne. And this dog. The dog’s name is Champagne. Get it? Also, the dog is mine. We have a photo shoot in two hours, so be a doll and grab my good sweater and my baseball top hat.

Cal Ripken Jr’s wife (also named Champagne): My birthday is next month. This streak is tearing us apart!

It should also be noted that this baseball card is a “1993 Limited Edition.” This means that, amazingly, they did not produce an infinite supply of cards featuring Cal Ripken, Jr. and his wife’s dog, Champagne. So if you have this card, consider yourself one of the fortunate ones. I, for one, am saddened to say that this card is not my own, but was instead mailed to me –- in the hard plastic sleeve –- by my buddy Sean (avid O’s fan) with the note:

What Cal lacks in his all-white jersey (inset), he makes up for in his seizure-inducing sweatshirt.
P.S. This is in a sleeve. In case it’s worth something, I want it back. If not, enjoy Cal & Champagne.

Ha, ha, Sean. I looked it up on Beckett and this card is worth four Milkbone bacon treats, which equals $2,800 in American human currency. I will mail this back to you…nevah!!!

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I am drunk off Champagne. Both the dog, and the drink. Mostly the drink.

Did you know?
When Ripken and Eddie Murray were teammates, the Baltimore Orioles were arguably the most dog-food-endorsing team in Major League Baseball.


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