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Lee May (baseball obituary)

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Lee May (baseball obituary)
Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) ^ | July 30, 2017 | Eric Aron

Posted on 7/30/2017, 3:09:16 PM by EveningStar

One of the most feared hitters of his generation, Lee May is one of only 11 major leaguers to have 100-RBI seasons for three different teams. He also had 11 consecutive seasons (1968-1978) of at least 20 home runs and 80 RBIs. In an 18-year major-league career, the “Big Bopper of Birmingham” played for the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals. A three-time All-Star (1969, 1971, and 1972), he appeared in the postseason three times, including the 1970 World Series for the Reds and the 1979 Series for the Orioles. (The third was a Division Series in 1981 when he was with the Royals.)

May was a solid first baseman defensively (.994 career fielding percentage), but also struck out often (100 or more in ten seasons). What he was really known for, however, was his power. He slammed 354 home runs and drove in 1,244 runs the major leagues. He freely admitted, “I deliberately try to hit a home run every time up. That is what they pay me for.”1 Still, despite his power numbers, he lacks some recognition and, as sportswriter Jim Murray once wrote, “played in the undeserved obscurity of a bullpen catcher.”2

Lee Andrew May was born on March 23, 1943, in Birmingham, Alabama...

Lee May died on July 29, 2017.


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