Sunday, May 18, 2014

Carlos May (#18)

I have already posted the center fielder for the 1969 Topps All-Rookie team, so I’m skipping ahead to the final player on the 1969 All-Rookie Team, Carlos May.

Topps failed to include the All-Rookie Team trophy on this card, just like they did in 1968 with Rick Monday, Dick Hughes, and Rich Nye.

Carlos is the younger brother of Reds’ first baseman Lee May (who was a member of the Topps 1967 All-Rookie Team). During his stay with the White Sox, Carlos wore #17, thereby advertising his birthday ("MAY 17").

May was a 1st-round draft pick by the White Sox in 1966. He played 3 seasons in the minors (none higher than class-A) before making his major-league debut in September 1968. Carlos started the final 14 games of the 1968 season, including the last 12 in left field, replacing veteran Tommy Davis.

In 1969, he started 76 of the first 85 games in left field, then moved over to right field, where he started 20 games in July and early August. May also made his first of 2 all-star appearances. After starting both games of the August 8th doubleheader, Carlos missed the rest of the season, having blown off part of his thumb in a mortar accident while in the Marine Reserves. Still, his 18 homers and 62 RBI propelled him to third place in the Rookie of the Year voting. He was also named the Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News.

May returned at the start of the 1970 season, starting 141 games in left field while batting .285 with 12 homers and 68 RBI in his first full season. He moved to first base for the final 7 games of the 1970 season, and remained there for most of 1971. In addition to his 123 starts at 1st base, he started 9 games in left field.

With the arrival of Dick Allen in 1972, May was back in left field, making 144 starts at his usual post. He also started 2 consecutive games at 1st base in late June, with Allen inexplicably moving over to 3rd base. Carlos primarily played left field for the next few years, then split his time between left and 1B in 1975, with Allen having been unloaded traded away to the Braves for backup catcher Jim Essian.

In May 1976, Carlos was traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ken Brett. He saw his only post-season action that year in the ALCS and World Series. Carlos also played for the Yankees for most of 1977, until moving on to the Angels for the final 2 weeks of the season.

May finished his career by playing in Japan from 1978 to 1981.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

I have a memory of Carlos' rookie year. I was just starting to follow baseball and saw him hit a grand slam to beat the Red Sox on TV. June 2, 1969