Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ryan Minor, 1999 Upper Deck MVP #29

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.


Chris Harris said...

Minor was also drafted by the Sixers the same year they took Iverson #1.

William said...

Incredible post on so many levels. First, I love the 1999 MVP set - I busted so many packs and have the cards to prove it. Second, Ryan Minor was playing for my Lancaster Barnstormers back in '06. When I was at a game that year I called a home run as he stepped to the plate and sure enough, he found the $5 hill seats out in left-centerfield. Pete Rose Jr. also hit a homer that game. I couldn't be making this up.