Ryan Minor, who replaced Cal Ripken to end record streak, dead at 49


Ryan Minor, who played in four MLB seasons and replaced Cal Ripken Jr. when he decided to end his consecutive-games streak, died Friday at the age of 49. 

The University of Oklahoma said that Minor passed away from cancer. Minor was an All-American in basketball and helped the OU baseball team to the 1994 national title as a first baseman and pitcher. 

2Infielder Ryan Minor of the Baltimore Orioles in action during a spring training game against the Montreal Expos at Fort Lauderdale Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Orioles defeated the Expos 11-9.  (Jamie Squire  /All)

He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round of the 1996 MLB Draft and appeared in 87 games over three seasons with the Orioles. 

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“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former third baseman and longtime minor league manager Ryan Minor, who courageously fought cancer,” Baltimore posted to X, the company formerly known as Twitter. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan’s family and friends at this time.” 

Ripken ended his consecutive-games-played streak on September 20, 1998 at 2,632. Minor played third base in place of Ripken. 

Ryan Minor dives for a baseball

Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman Ryan Minor leaps but misses a ball hit by Detroit Tigers’ Brad Ausmus during the fourth inning of a baseball game August 8, 1999, at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Former Orioles infielder Minor has died at age 49. The University of Oklahoma said that Minor died of cancer Friday, December 22, 2023.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

“I had no idea, when I was coming to the park,” Minor said at the time, according to The Associated Press. 

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He finished his MLB career appearing in 142 games, hitting .177 at the plate with 27 RBIs. 

Minor went on to coach in Baltimore’s minor league system, managing the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Frederick Keys. 

A two-sport star, Minor was named the 1994-95 Big Eight Conference Player of the Year in basketball under head coach Kelvin Sampson. 

Ryan Minor looks on from the dugout

Infielder Ryan Minor, #10 of the Baltimore Orioles, looking on during the Spring Training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at the Rodger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The Orioles defeated the Cardinals 8-5.  (Jamie Squire/Allsport)

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“The ultimate warrior and fierce competitor,” Sampson posted to X. “The best 3 level scorer i ever coached. Ryan was at his best on the road in the ol Big 8. Thank you for allowing me to coach you Ryan. I love you and God Bless you.” 

Minor was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer last fall, according to The Oklahoman. He was named as a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame 2024 class last month.



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