By Noé Trister | Associated Press
Ryan Minor, the Baltimore Orioles infielder who made baseball history when he replaced Cal Ripken at the end of his record consecutive-game streak in 1998, has died. He was 49 years old.
The University of Oklahoma — where Minor played baseball and basketball — said he died Friday of cancer. The Orioles also released a statement on social media.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former third baseman and longtime minor league manager Ryan Minor, who courageously battled cancer,” the Orioles said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan’s family and friends at this time.”
Drafted by the Orioles in 1996, Minor made his big league debut late in the 1998 season. Then, a week later – on September 20 – he was thrust into the spotlight. In the team’s final home game of the season, Ripken decided to end its streak of 2,632 consecutive games. Minor started at third base for the first time in his career.
“I didn’t know when I was coming to the park,” Minor said at the time.
Minor then played parts of four seasons for the Orioles and Montreal Expos, appearing in 142 major league games. Last summer, the Delmarva Shorebirds – a minor league affiliate of the Orioles – made his number 44 the first jersey number in team history to be retired. He hit 24 homers for Delmarva in 1997 as he progressed to the majors, and he later managed the team from 2010 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2017. He also held several positions as manager of the Frederick Keys.
At Oklahoma, Minor pitched and played first base. He helped the Sooners win a national baseball title in 1994 and was named Big Eight Player of the Year in 1995 on the basketball court. The 6-foot-6 Miner finished with 1,946 points and was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996, the same year the Orioles took him.
The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame recently announced that Minor will be a part of its 2024 class.
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