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  • Lee May

    Slugger Lee May spent 18 years in the big leagues, hitting .267 with 354 home runs, 1,244 RBI and 3,495 total bases. The three-time All-Star received MVP votes six times, finishing in the top-10 twice--he finished ninth in 1972 and ninth again in 1976.

    May hit at least 20 home runs in a season 11 times and at least 30 home runs three times--he ranks 81st all time in that category. He had at least 100 RBI three times, leading the league in that category once. Defensively, he led the league in putouts twice and defensive games at first base once.

    He appeared in 13 postseason games in his career, with one series being especially notable: In the 1970 World Series, he hit .389 with two home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored. It was for naught, however, as his team, the Reds, lost the Series.

    Statistically, he is similar to Tino Martinez, Willie Horton, George Foster, Boog Powell, Gil Hodges, George Scott, Joe Adcock, Jack Clark, Norm Cash and Don Baylor. He received 0.7% of the Hall of Fame vote in 1988. On the Fan EloRater, he is ranked #428--ahead of Jim Bottomley, Roy Thomas and Art Fletcher, but behind Clyde Milan, George Hendrick and George Gore.

    What do you think about Lee May? Should he be in the Hall of Fame? Did he have Hall of Fame potential?
    17
    Yes
    0.00%
    0
    No
    76.47%
    13
    Maybe
    0.00%
    0
    Not a Hall of Famer, but he had Hall of Fame potential
    23.53%
    4

  • #2
    The Big Bopper was a a great guy to have on your team. He consistently hit HRs and drove in Runs, even when he was winding down. He hit nearly the same number of HRs in his 30s as he did in his 20s.

    Struck out alot (3rd most in the 70s) and low OBP. Not a defensive 1B either.

    Played for 3 different WS teams (Reds, Orioles, Royals). Batted extremely well in the 1970 WS, although on the losing side. Lee May was really what the Big Red Machine was all about, originally.

    Lee May, at his best was a legit All Star. But he was never really great, and only had a handful of All Star quality seasons.
    Last edited by dgarza; 11-14-2012, 10:06 AM.

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    • #3
      --Dave Kingman without the personality issues? May hit for a little bit better average with not quite as much power, but brought mostly the same things to the table.

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      • #4
        An underrated, forgotten slugger, who hit a whole lot of HR for the era he played in. But fairly one-dimensional; not really a plausible HOFer.

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        • #5
          If he didn't play in the Astrodome, he may well have surpassed 400 HR. I liked him and that he admitted with the bases empty (maybe with 2 out) he would swing for the fences but with men on base he would try for contact. It may be apocryphal but it is an interesting glimpse into a hitter's mindset.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
            If he didn't play in the Astrodome, he may well have surpassed 400 HR.
            I wonder.

            But his 1972-1974 splits, the years he was and Astro, show he often did well under the Dome, overall.

            1972
            Code:
                                                                                            
            I   Split  G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
                 Home 73 73 319 289 48 93 18  0 13  55 29 72 .322 .386 .519 .905   118   164
                 Away 75 73 328 303 39 75 13  2 16  43 23 72 .248 .302 .462 .764    82   134
            1973
            Code:
                                                                                            
            I   Split  G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
                 Home 70 67 271 251 29 66 11  1 10  37 15 64 .263 .299 .434 .733    87   103
                 Away 78 77 319 294 36 81 13  2 18  68 19 58 .276 .320 .517 .837   111   139
            1974
            Code:
                                                                                          
            Split    G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
            Home    81 77 316 300 35 89 16  0 18  53  6 49 .297 .310 .530 .840   125   134
            Away    71 66 274 256 24 60 10  0  6  32 11 48 .234 .275 .344 .618    71    82
            Last edited by dgarza; 11-14-2012, 10:59 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dgarza View Post
              I wonder.

              But his 1972-1974 splits, the years he was and Astro, show he often did well under the Dome, overall.

              1972
              Code:
                                                                                              
              I   Split  G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
                   Home 73 73 319 289 48 93 18  0 13  55 29 72 .322 .386 .519 .905   118   164
                   Away 75 73 328 303 39 75 13  2 16  43 23 72 .248 .302 .462 .764    82   134
              1973
              Code:
                                                                                              
              I   Split  G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
                   Home 70 67 271 251 29 66 11  1 10  37 15 64 .263 .299 .434 .733    87   103
                   Away 78 77 319 294 36 81 13  2 18  68 19 58 .276 .320 .517 .837   111   139
              1974
              Code:
                                                                                            
              Split    G GS  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
              Home    81 77 316 300 35 89 16  0 18  53  6 49 .297 .310 .530 .840   125   134
              Away    71 66 274 256 24 60 10  0  6  32 11 48 .234 .275 .344 .618    71    82
              I stand corrected. I did like him though. I guess he just declined in general for Cincy was great for him b/c he went from 30 HR to mid 20s.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PVNICK View Post
                I stand corrected.
                I almost posted something about him playing in the Astrodome too. But then I looked it up and took that little note down.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Was always a big Lee May fan. Very Adcock-Powell-Horton-Mayberry, not a Hof but deserves to be remembered better than he is. If you don't have pretty walk totals ala Norm Cash you don't get the saber love I suppose. Can remember being disappointed he didn'tget to play much in '79 WS.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wouldn't mind having him on my team in the 70's but not a HoFer.
                    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

                    "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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                    • #11
                      May's .550 OWP for his career indicates that he was not quite the player Carlos Lee is. The Dome took something away from May during his best years, but he was only an Astro for 3 years; he may have added 30 HRs to his career total, but that would not have put him at 400 HRs. He played in OK hitters' parks for most of his career, including 2 years at old Crosley Field.

                      Had May been more patient at the plate, it may have been a better story. May was big and strong; if he had learned patience at the plate, he would have been more effective offensively, but he was something of a hacker. He wasn't Alfonso Soriano, but he never truly learned to maximize plate discipline. Had he done that, he'd have been at the level of at least Jim Rice at the dish, but that didn't happen. Norm Cash and Frank Howard are far better candidates for the hall than Lee May. Joe Adcock and Ted Kluszewski were better players, and Gil Hodges' case dwarfs May's.
                      "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                      NL President Ford Frick, 1947

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I tend to agree with pretty much everything said.

                        He had a "decent" 5-year peak, but nothing exceptional. Solid player to slot 4th-6th in a batting order during his era.
                        "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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