This card creates the only situation in which you'll ever see "Ryan Minor" and "MVP" mentioned in the same breath. But I sort of feel for the guy. He was clearly the victim of the hype of others. If you look at his minor league stats, there's nothing there to justify the hopes and dreams that the Orioles held for him. As a 23-year-old in 1997, he had a .918 OPS with 24 home runs at low Single-A. As has often been the case, everyone got all hot and bothered over him and skipped him past Frederick the next year. So he posts a .295 on-base percentage at Bowie in 1998, strikes out more than he hits (152 K, 130 H), and...gets a September call-up to Baltimore? Ooookay.
Any remaining chance that Minor had of developing into a hitter may have been dashed against the rocks on September 20, 1998. One week after the guy makes his major league debut, he has the thankless job of replacing Cal Ripken, Jr. on the first day that #8 takes a break in sixteen years. No pressure or anything, fella. Ten years later, his brief career has been reduced to a trivia tidbit. At least Babe Dahlgren had a decent career and played in a World Series after he relieved Lou Gehrig in 1939.
Speaking of trivia, the O's traded Minor to the Expos in December 2000 for a flamethrowing pitcher named Jorge Julio. In the end, that's probably the most legitimate reason for Birds fans to associate Ryan Minor with suffering and anguish.