OF-DH-1B 1968-77 White Sox , Yankees, Angels
May was perhaps the only player in baseball history to wear his birth date on the
back of his uniform - May 17. In 1969 he was an All-Star and the leading candidate
for Rookie of the Year when, on Marine reserve duty at Camp Pendleton in August,
a mortar misfired and blew off part of his right thumb. He was hitting .281 at the
time, with 18 home runs and 62 RBI. May showed determination through several painful
skin graft operations and was named TSN Rookie of the Year, but lost the BBWAA vote to Lou Piniella (.282, 11 HR, 68 RBI). He returned in
1970, and while he never posted the numbers his older brother Lee did, Carlos was
always a good contact hitter. He reached career highs of .308 in 1972, and 20 HR
and 96 RBI in 1973. Occasionally criticized in Chicago for lackadaisical outfield
play, he was traded to the Yankees in May 1976, and shared DH duty with Piniella
in the '76 LCS and WS.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» May 16, 1969:
Despite five home runs -- three by Mike Epstein -- the Senators lose the White Sox, 7–6. Carlos May's 10th homer of the year breaks a 6–6 deadlock. |
» July 3, 1969: At Los Angeles, Lee May hits a 2-run homer in the 11th and the Reds beat the Dodgers, 4–3. For May, second in the National League to Willie McCovey (27) in dingers, it is his 23rd homer, matching his birth date and uniform number (his younger brother Carlos May will also have his birth date as his uniform number). Wayne Granger, the 3rd Red pitcher in the 11th, stops the Dodger rally.
» August 8, 1969:
Three-run homers by Tom Tresh and Willie Horton allow the Tigers to sweep a pair from the White Sox, 7–3 and 9–7. Tresh's homer comes in the 8th inning of the Friday nitecap. Rookie of the year candidate Carlos May has two hits in the 2nd game, his last before going on weekend Army reserve duty at Camp Pendleton, California. While there, May suffers a serious injury when a mortar misfires and blows off most of his right thumb. May, hitting .281 with 18 homers, will have extensive skin grafts and surgery and will return to play 150 games and hit .285 next year. His home run output will drop to 12.
» May 18, 1976: The White Sox trade OF Carlos May to the Yankees for pitcher Ken Brett and OF Rich Coggins.
» May 24, 1977: Carlos May and Graig Nettles hit back-to-back homers in the 6th as the Yankees come from behind to defeat the Red Sox, 6–5.
» June 5, 1977:
The Yankees hit six home runs, their most in three years, and barely edge the White Sox, 8–6. Bucky Dent, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Carlos May, Graig Nettles and rookie George Zeber connect. Zeber's clout, his first ML homer, comes off Dave Hamilton, and is the game winner.