The 1984 Baltimore Orioles had to be considered a disappointment just about any way you looked at them.

After all, they were coming of a victory in the 1983 World Series, led by American League MVP Cal Ripken, Jr., and standout teammates like Eddie Murray, Scott McGregor, and Mike Boddicker.

By the end of April 1984, though, the champs had already fallen nearly ten games behind the juggernaut Detroit Tigers, and things never really got better from there — at the end of the season, the O’s sat at 85-77 and in fifth place in the old American League East.

If there was one guy you couldn’t blame for Baltimore’s second-division finish, though, it was Cal himself, who played all 162 games (surprise!), hit .304, banged 27 home runs, and drove in 86 while scoring 103 times and flashing solid leather at shortstop.

That all added up to 10.0 WAR (Baseball Reference version), even better than what he did during his MVP campaign.

Cal would also score 100+ times in 1985, the third straight season he topped the mark, and the last time he would do so in his career.

And every time he rounded third and headed home, from the moment of his MLB debut in 1981 all the way through the 1986 season, young Cal found a familiar face waving him in … old Cal.

While Cal, Jr., was busy racking up that third double-digit run season, Fleer was regaling collectors with a Super Star Special featuring the father-son duo:

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For anyone who’s ever set foot on a diamond with their dad (or dad figure) peering in from the dugout or stands — or pitcher’s mound — this card has to give you a vicarious thrill.

Here you have a guy (Jr.) in the midst of building a legendary major league career that would sweep him into Cooperstown standing alongside the guy (Sr.) who helped him build the foundations of his game — and his life.

Is there anything that screams “BASEBALL!” more than this amazing father-son tableau?

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1985 Fleer #286 Kirby Puckett

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1985 FLEER Baseball Star Stickers - Sealed Pack

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1985 Fleer Update Baseball Card Pick

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1985 Fleer Baseball Card Pick 377-657

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1985 Fleer #533 Eric Davis RC EX

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