O.K., so here's what's up with this Innistrad ability word craziness appearing on an Alpha card: I wanted this minotaur to have the ability to enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it if a creature died earlier in the turn. But I couldn't figure out the correct wording for Alpha's time from the other cards without it seeming like it triggered every time a creature died. So, I figured I'd just use the modern wording anyway. Then I also figured I'd go one step further, since I'm already out there, and just slap "Morbid" in front of it.
But this decision for this ability is a legitimate decision - check it out: There's not much to go off of in the art. In fact, the art showing a very normal minotaur is a boon for a vanilla design. But it already started out as a vanilla creature, so I couldn't do that. Then I sought to give it first strike or haste. But there are other Minotaurs in Magic: The Gathering that have first strike or haste.
So, the next thing I did was read the flavor text:
1) Hymns to the dead, friend or foe. Thus, keying off of whether ANY creature died this turn. It can't be an ability that can trigger off of multiple deaths since that would make it an uncommon.
2) Love of battle. Since we're counting a creature death as a condition, what benefit do we give? We give the minotaur a benefit that can be used in battle - combat. A +1/+1 counter both does the job and works as an indicator that this benefit has been given.
3) This minotaur is not just any minotaur - it's from the Hurloon Mountains. Since I'm going off of the flavor text, I had to keep the name intact to show that this is a Hurloon-ian doing what Hurloon-ians do: singing hymns to the dead.
Another reason for +1/+1 counters: while it exists in Alpha on two rares and an uncommon - there aren't any at common. One at common where no more than one would be used wouldn't hurt the set too much with complexity, I believe (obviously, it's all right nowadays, but considering its time).