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YOU'LL NEED BIG BUCKS TO SEE CAL BREAK RECORD

How much is a moment in sports history worth?

Up to $1,000, if you're a ticket broker or scalper with tickets to the Sept. 6 home game when Cal Ripken is expected to break Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played?"This market is only going up," said one broker, who has an advertisement running in The (Baltimore) Sun. He said he gets about 20 calls a day and has been selling an average of two tickets a day, for $300 to $750 depending upon location.

"I'd like to go to the game, but I'm not sure I can afford to," said another broker.

Another scalper said he was getting $1,000 for the best seats, but that was the exception. More common was $200 for an upper-deck seat that normally sells for $7, and $600 for an $18 box seat between first base and third base.

For $10,000, there's a skybox available. Food and beverages are extra.

Although selling tickets for above face value has long been outlawed in Baltimore, surrounding counties permit it. Orioles officials frown on the practice, but there's little they can do to stop it.

Michael Eckert, a grocery store produce manager from Oxnard, Calif., said he shopped around before finding two tickets for $150 each. Ticket brokers in California wanted between $250 and $300.

"I just wanted to be there," said Eckert, who is planning his vacation around seeing Ripken break Gehrig's record.

The Orioles are talking about adding seats for the game and have held back on VIP tickets. Ripken, however, has received more than the customary six tickets that all major leaguers get for home games.

Devoted Orioles fan Mark Sapperstein said there isn't enough money to get him to part with his tickets. His wife and 3-year-old son will be with him in the stands.

"How many chances do you have to see something like this?" he said. "If I didn't have tickets, I'd be interested in buying them."

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Additional Information

Cal's countdown

A look at Cal Ripken counting down to Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played:

CAL-endar: Ripken and the Orioles next play tonight at home against the Cleveland Indians.

CAL-culating: Ripken has played in 2,109 straight games. He needs 22 more to break Gehrig's mark. He is projected to pass Gehrig on Sept. 6 at home against California.

CAL-ibrating: Ripken twisted his right knee during a brawl between the Orioles and the Mariners on June 6, 1993. Though he didn't come out of the game, he said, "It was the closest I've come to not playing."