Obituary

Ryan Minor Obituary, Oklahoma, Former Baltimore Orioles Infielder Dies at 49 after Battle with Colon Cancer

Ryan Minor Obituary, Death – The passing of Ryan Minor, a former two-sport standout who died Friday from cancer, has deeply devastated the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department. He was 49. Minor was drafted professionally in both sports after being an All-American in basketball and a pitcher and first baseman on the OU baseball team that won the national championship in 1994. He arrived at OU in the fall of 1992 as a member of Billy Tubbs’ men’s basketball squad and Larry Cochell’s baseball team. His final two basketball seasons were spent with former head coach Kelvin Sampson.

Outside of the Sooner State, Minor, who was elected into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame 2024 class last month, is arguably best remembered for breaking Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr.’s Major League Baseball record of 2,632 straight games played on Sept. 20, 1998. Minor, who grew up in the small western Oklahoma town of Hammon, was named the Associated Press and US Basketball Writers Association’s Big Eight Conference Player of the Year as a junior, as well as the league’s head coaches’ co-player of the year. After averaging a career-high 23.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game while guiding the Sooners to a 23-9 record and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the unanimous first-team all-conference selection was also chosen third-team All-America by UPI and Basketball Times.

He scored in double figures in every game he played, including seven 30-point games and 24 20-point outings. Minor was named first-team All-Big Eight as a senior and an Associated Press honorable mention All-American. In 21 of 30 games that season, he led OU in scoring, averaging a Big Eight-best 21.3 points per game, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. He set an OU record by making 30 consecutive free throws that season, and he became the first Sooner in history to have 1,800 points, 700 rebounds, and 150 steals in a career.

He left the Sooners as the sixth-leading all-time scorer (1,946 points) and finished in the top 10 in 14 different OU career categories. Minor played baseball for the first three years of his OU career before switching to basketball late in the season. Ryan Minor hit.266 with twin brother Damon Minor in 203 at-bats, with 11 home runs, 15 doubles, 43 RBIs, and 44 runs scored. During OU’s 1994 national title season, he was named to the Big Eight Tournament, NCAA Regional, and College World Series all-tournament teams.

The 6-foot-6 Minor was taken by the Philadelphia 76ers with the third pick in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft. He was picked in the 15th round by the Orioles out of high school before electing to attend OU. He was drafted in the seventh round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, but he returned to school for his senior year. He was picked in the 33rd round by the Orioles again in 1996, and he played four seasons in the major leagues (1998-00 with Baltimore and 2001 with the Montreal Expos). In 142 career games and 317 at-bats, Minor has 56 hits, five home runs, 27 RBIs, and 30 runs.

Minor spent the majority of his post-playing career as an East Coast baseball coach. Minor’s previous minor league team, the Delmarva Shorebirds of Salisbury, Maryland, retired his No. 44 uniform this summer. It was the first jersey number retired in the organization’s history. Minor went on to work for Delmarva following college, eventually becoming its manager twice (2010-12 and 2014-17).Allyson, his wife, and their two daughters survive him.

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