Lee May, one of the greatest players in the history of the Cincinnati Reds organization, recently passed away. While many Reds fans might remember May as one of the players that the Reds traded to get Joe Morgan, May’s contributions to the team are often overlooked.
May spent several years in the minor leagues before being called up to the major leagues. May showcased his tremendous power during his rookie season, during which he was honored as The Sporting News Rookie Of The Year. Over the next few seasons, May established himself as one of the best power hitters in Major League Baseball. May also began to develop a reputation as a clubhouse leader. While May was friendly and charming, he was also known for having a no-nonsense demeanor. At 6’3 and weighing in at over 200 pounds, May was an intimidating physical presence.
The 1970 season was one of the best of May’s career, as the Reds advanced to The World Series to face the Baltimore Orioles. May batted .389 during the Series while also driving in 8 runs. May followed up his great World Series performance by making the National League All Star Team in 1971.
However, the 1971 season did not produce the team success that Reds management hoped to see. Reds General Manager Bob Howsam made the decision to trade May and a few other players to Houston in order to acquire star second baseman Joe Morgan. May later revealed that he was hurt by the trade.
May continued to be a productive player during the later stages of his career. After being traded, May played for the Astros, Orioles, and Royals before retiring. After retiring, May rejoined the Reds organization. May was eventually inducted into the Reds Hall Of Fame.