Minors Watch as Son Replaces Ripken
By Patrick Casey
Sunday, September 20, 1998; 9:48 p.m. EDT
OKLAHOMA CITY Nancy Minor got quite a surprise Sunday night when she turned on her satellite dish to watch her son, Ryan, play baseball for the Baltimore Orioles.
Minor, a 24-year-old rookie third baseman, was making history as the man who replaced Cal Ripken on the night baseball's ultimate ironman decided to take himself out of the starting lineup.
"Five minutes before the game, I saw Ripken's name on the lineup card, so this is a shock,'' Mrs. Minor said. "This is history. This is great.''
Ripken removed himself from the Orioles' lineup after 16 years and 2,632 consecutive games.
The 38-year-old third baseman said he was not hurt. But with the Orioles out of playoff contention and playing their final home game against the New York Yankees, Ripken decided to end the string that began on May 30, 1982.
Dale Minor said he and his wife, who live in suburban Edmond, didn't know until they tuned in the game that their son was starting.
"It is great. What else can we say?'' Minor said. "We've been waiting for him to get in and play.''
Mrs. Minor said her son, who was called up last week from Double A affiliate Bowie, didn't phone before the game to let them know he was starting and likely didn't know until minutes before play began.
"We didn't know ahead of time and I don't think he had any idea either,'' she said. "We just lucked out and got the game on the satellite.''
Mrs. Minor said Ryan's brother, Damon, a prospect with the San Francisco Giants, happened to be in Baltimore to visit to his brother and was at the game.
Dale Minor said he was excited for his son but said he felt funny because he is a huge Ripken fan.
"I've got mixed feelings,'' Minor said. "I know my son is replacing him but I have been a fan of Cal's forever. I am happy both ways I guess.''
Minor, who grew in Hammon, Okla., a town of about 350 in western Oklahoma, was a two-time All-Big Eight basketball player when he was at Oklahoma.
Minor also played baseball for the Sooners and was a member of their 1994 national championship team as a sophomore.
He was cut in October 1996 by the Philadelphia 76ers, who had drafted him in the second round.
Minor signed a contract with the Orioles in January 1997 after playing with the Oklahoma City Cavalry of the Continental Basketball Association.
"Tremendous talent. If he had never played basketball, if he had concentrated on baseball only, if he had played fall baseball and played summer baseball, there is no telling what he would have done. He was that he that good,'' said Mike Treps, the longtime OU baseball radio announcer. "He would have been in the majors long ago.''
© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press