Minor achievement on Sept. 20, 1998

Another rumor for me to chase: I hear Tom Brady’s baby wanted to bounce on daddy’s knee, and he drew a 15-yard penalty.

I’m playing a hunch here, but I bet Ryan Minor’s legacy in baseball won’t have anything to do with being hired as Delmarva’s manager.

It has to be his tenure as a York Revolution coach.

Or maybe - just maybe - it will be the night he replaced Cal Ripken at third base.

On Sept. 20, 1998, Ripken walked into manager Ray Miller’s office at Camden Yards and voluntarily ended his consecutive-games streak at 2,632, giving columnist Ken Rosenthal nothing else to write about (I kid).

Minor immediately became the answer to a trivia question. And he’s still asked about it.

“Everywhere I go,” he said.

“Especially in the minors. You go to different cities and it’s such an intimate setting. You interact with fans so much. It’s something that gets asked every other day, but it doesn’t bother me at all. That’s my place in history and some people don’t have that opportunity to talk about their career. I look at it as my little piece of history. Fortunately, I was in the right place and time to do it.”

The night is so vivid to Minor, it could have unfolded this week.

“I talk about it so much,” he said. “People bring it up and always want to know what I was thinking about. It will stay with me a long time. It’s pretty cool for me to go to these cities and talk to people in Savannah, Ga. who never get a chance to come to Baltimore, and they get to hear the stories like that.”

Ripken took a seat on a couch in Miller’s office and said, “I think the time is right.” Miller stood up and shook Ripken’s hand. And Minor’s life changed forever.

“I was shocked like everybody else,” Minor said. “I had only been up about three weeks, and all of a sudden they’re tell me that I’m going to play third base and Cal’s not playing, and it was only a couple minutes before the game. I didn’t have much time to let it set in. I was scrambling to get my spikes and bat and glove. They wouldn’t let me go on the field to play catch. I had to do it in the tunnel.

“It didn’t really set in until afterward, when the Orioles asked me to participate in the press conference with Cal. Once that happened, it almost looked like a journey with all the interviews and all the pieces that were written, especially about Cal. I get asked to do a lot about his history and his past and me being a little part of his legacy. It’s always been pretty cool to talk about it.”

So don’t be shy about approaching Minor if you happen to run into him in Salisbury.

You probably know more about that night than his players.

“It’s weird,” he said. “I’ll have a handful who do and a handful who don’t. For the most part, younger guys in any organization really don’t know a whole lot about the history of the game. We’ll talk about an older player like Willie Stargell or Don Mattingly, and a lot of guys look at me like I’ve got three eyes on my forehead. They have no idea who we’re talking about.

“It’s kind of strange sometimes to know that people don’t study the game like they used to. There’s so much more for them to get involved with now. There’s not as much exposure to the game. People don’t collect baseball cards or listen to games on radio. Now they just can’t wait to watch Baseball Tonight and see the home runs or great catches.”

Shameless plug alert: The Hot Stove Show returns tonight from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on 105.7 The Fan and ESPN 1300. Mike Bordick will be in studio to discuss his new role as minor league offensive coordinator. I’ll ask if he’s going to implement the no-huddle. Also, pitcher Kevin Millwood is scheduled to call us.

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