Lee May Stats

Lee May was born on Tuesday, March 23, 1943, in Birmingham, Alabama. May was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 1, 1965, with the Cincinnati Reds. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Lee May baseball stats page.

"He (Lee May) may be fooled on a certain pitch but the next time up he'll hit the same pitch out of the park." - Cincinnati Reds Hitting Coach Ted Kluszewski (Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, 'Lee May: Class of 2006', Source )
Lee May

Lee May Autograph on a 1983 Topps Baseball Card (#378 | <a href='../baseball_cards/baseball_cards_oneset.php?s=1983top03' title='1983 Topps Baseball Card Checklist'>Checklist</a>)
Lee May Autograph on a 1983 Topps Baseball Card (#378 | Checklist )

Birth Name:
Lee Andrew May
Nickname:
The Big Bopper of Birmingham or The Big Bopper
Born On:
03-23-1943  (Aries)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Birmingham, Alabama
Year of Death Data Died On:
07-29-2017 ( 100 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cemetery:
Cremated
High School:
A.H. Parker High School (Birmingham, AL)
College:
None Attended
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Right
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Right
Player Height Chart Height:
6-03
Player Weight Chart Weight:
205
First Game:
09-01-1965 (Age 22)
Last Game:
09-24-1982
Draft:
Not Applicable
Lee May

Lee May Pitching Stats

G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
Lee May

Lee May Hitting Stats

G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
1965 22 Reds 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1966 23 Reds 25 75 14 25 5 1 2 0 10 0 0 14 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .507
1967 24 Reds 127 438 54 116 29 2 12 0 57 19 3 80 1 4 10 10 .265 .308 .422
1968 25 Reds 146 559 78 162 32 1 22 0 80 34 11 100 2 1 6 20 .290 .337 .469
1969 26 Reds 158 607 85 169 32 3 38 1 110 45 8 142 0 7 6 12 .278 .331 .529
1970 27 Reds 153 605 78 153 34 2 34 3 94 38 5 125 0 4 2 19 .253 .297 .484
1971 28 Reds 147 553 85 154 17 3 39 0 98 42 2 135 0 3 4 13 .278 .332 .532
1972 29 Astros 148 592 87 168 31 2 29 0 98 52 12 145 0 1 2 13 .284 .343 .490
1973 30 Astros 148 545 65 147 24 3 28 2 105 34 10 122 0 9 2 13 .270 .310 .479
1974 31 Astros 152 556 59 149 26 0 24 0 85 17 2 97 1 9 7 12 .268 .294 .444
1975 32 Orioles 146 580 67 152 28 3 20 0 99 36 8 91 0 5 5 26 .262 .308 .424
1976 33 Orioles 148 530 61 137 17 4 25 1 109 41 8 104 2 7 3 11 .258 .312 .447
1977 34 Orioles 150 585 75 148 16 2 27 2 99 38 5 119 1 5 0 20 .253 .296 .426
1978 35 Orioles 148 556 56 137 16 1 25 0 80 31 5 110 0 2 1 18 .246 .286 .414
1979 36 Orioles 124 456 59 116 15 0 19 2 69 28 4 100 2 4 1 18 .254 .297 .412
1980 37 Orioles 78 222 20 54 10 2 7 0 31 15 1 53 0 2 0 11 .243 .289 .401
1981 38 Royals 26 55 3 16 3 0 0 0 8 3 0 14 0 0 0 2 .291 .328 .345
1982 39 Royals 42 91 12 28 5 2 3 0 12 14 1 18 0 2 0 0 .308 .393 .505
G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
18 Years 2,071 7,609 959 2,031 340 31 354 11 1,244 487 85 1,570 9 65 49 219 .267 .313 .459
Lee May

Lee May Fielding Stats

POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1966 Reds 1B 16 16 432 145 9.1 141 132 9 4 15 n/a n/a n/a .972 8.81
1967 Reds 1B 81 68 1,902 668 8.2 664 621 43 4 49 n/a n/a n/a .994 9.43
1967 Reds LF 33 31 783 57 1.7 55 53 2 2 1 n/a n/a n/a .965 1.90
1967 Reds RF 16 16 375 29 1.8 29 28 1 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.09
1968 Reds 1B 122 112 3,054 1,115 9.1 1,110 1,040 70 5 86 n/a n/a n/a .996 9.81
1968 Reds LF 11 7 207 15 1.4 15 15 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 1.96
1968 Reds RF 23 17 528 41 1.8 41 38 3 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.10
1969 Reds 1B 156 154 438 1,500 9.6 1,489 1,387 102 11 128 n/a n/a n/a .993 91.79
1969 Reds LF 5 3 75 8 1.6 8 8 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.88
1969 Reds RF 2 0 6 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a .000 0.00
1970 Reds 1B 153 153 4,011 1,481 9.7 1,471 1,362 109 10 143 n/a n/a n/a .993 9.90
1971 Reds 1B 143 143 3,573 1,347 9.4 1,339 1,261 78 8 118 n/a n/a n/a .994 10.12
1972 Astros 1B 146 146 3,936 1,400 9.6 1,394 1,318 76 6 133 n/a n/a n/a .996 9.56
1973 Astros 1B 144 144 3,717 1,307 9.1 1,298 1,220 78 9 112 n/a n/a n/a .993 9.43
1974 Astros 1B 145 143 3,558 1,349 9.3 1,341 1,253 88 8 116 n/a n/a n/a .994 10.18
1975 Orioles 1B 144 142 3,651 1,428 9.9 1,418 1,312 106 10 138 n/a n/a n/a .993 10.49
1976 Orioles 1B 94 93 2,187 787 8.4 784 722 62 3 61 n/a n/a n/a .996 9.68
1977 Orioles 1B 110 108 2,700 968 8.8 963 907 56 5 101 n/a n/a n/a .995 9.63
1978 Orioles 1B 4 4 96 37 9.3 36 34 2 1 3 n/a n/a n/a .973 10.13
1979 Orioles 1B 2 2 54 23 11.5 21 21 0 2 2 n/a n/a n/a .913 10.50
1980 Orioles 1B 7 6 168 60 8.6 60 57 3 0 4 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 9.64
1981 Royals 1B 8 7 174 65 8.1 65 63 2 0 8 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 10.09
1982 Royals 1B 32 27 564 187 5.8 185 175 10 2 18 n/a n/a n/a .989 8.86
POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1B Totals 1,507 1,468 34,215 13,867 9.2 13,779 12,885 894 88 1,235 n/a n/a n/a .994 10.87
LF Totals 49 41 1,065 80 1.6 78 76 2 2 1 n/a n/a n/a .975 1.98
RF Totals 41 33 909 70 1.7 70 66 4 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.08
17 Years 1,597 1,542 36,189 14,017 8.8 13,927 13,027 900 90 1,236 n/a n/a n/a .994 10.39
Lee May

Lee May Miscellaneous Stats

SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
1965 Reds 0 0 .000 4 1 n/a 0.0 4.0 0.0 - - -
1966 Reds 0 1 .000 9 0 n/a 37.5 5.4 7.5 - - -
1967 Reds 4 8 .333 8 0 n/a 36.5 5.5 7.7 - - -
1968 Reds 4 7 .364 4 0 n/a 25.4 5.6 7.0 - - -
1969 Reds 5 4 .556 1 0 n/a 16.0 4.3 5.5 - - -
1970 Reds 1 1 .500 0 0 n/a 17.8 4.8 6.4 - - -
1971 Reds 3 0 1.000 4 0 n/a 14.2 4.1 5.6 - - -
1972 Astros 3 1 .750 2 0 n/a 20.4 4.1 6.0 - - -
1973 Astros 1 1 .500 4 0 n/a 19.5 4.5 5.2 - - -
1974 Astros 1 0 1.000 9 0 n/a 23.2 5.7 6.5 - - -
1975 Orioles 1 2 .333 1 0 2 29.0 6.4 5.9 - - -
1976 Orioles 4 1 .800 4 0 52 21.2 5.1 4.9 - - -
1977 Orioles 2 2 .500 2 0 39 21.7 4.9 5.9 - - -
1978 Orioles 5 2 .714 7 0 140 22.2 5.1 7.0 - - -
1979 Orioles 3 4 .429 9 0 117 24.0 4.6 6.6 - - -
1980 Orioles 2 0 1.000 28 2 58 31.7 4.2 7.2 - - -
1981 Royals 0 1 .000 14 0 4 0.0 3.9 6.9 - - -
1982 Royals 0 0 .000 13 0 2 30.3 5.1 7.6 - - -
SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
18 Years 39 35 .527 123 3 414 21.5 4.8 6.1 - - -
Lee May

Lee May Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1965 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined - -
1966 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined - -
1967 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined - -
1968 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined - -
1969 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined Stats -
1970 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined - Stats
1971 Cincinnati Reds 23 Undetermined Stats -
1972 Houston Astros 23 Undetermined Stats -
1973 Houston Astros 23 Undetermined - -
1974 Houston Astros 23 Undetermined - -
1975 Baltimore Orioles 14 $90,000.00 - -
1976 Baltimore Orioles 14 $96,000.00 - -
1977 Baltimore Orioles 14 $130,000.00 - -
1978 Baltimore Orioles 14 $140,000.00 - -
1979 Baltimore Orioles 14 Undetermined - Stats
1980 Baltimore Orioles 14 Undetermined - -
1981 Kansas City Royals 14 Undetermined - -
1982 Kansas City Royals 14 Undetermined - -


Did you know that Lee May hit the last home run in the history of Crosley Field - which served as home field for the Cincinnati Reds from 1912 through 1970? The park's final game was played on June 24, 1970 , the historic home run occurred in the eighth inning, future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal was on the mound, the bases were empty (courtesy of a Johnny Bench home run in the previous at-bat), the score was tied 4-4, when May deposited the pitch over the wall to put the Big Red Machine ahead 5-4.

Crosley Field Final Game
Crosley Field Final Game | News Story & Photo Collage | June 24, 1970 ( Box Score )
Lee May was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in July 2006 and finished his big league career with 354 home runs. In Sport Magazine, August 1972, Page 70, (Arnold Hano, 'Lee May, the Man Behind the Astros Surge') May said, "I deliberately try to hit a home run every time up. That is what they pay me for." The Big Bopper did what he said, hitting 20 or more home runs (and drove in 80+ RBIs) in 11 consecutive seasons, 1968 through 1978, with three different teams, and of the 18 Hall of Fame first basemen , May has more homers than 10 of them.

Lee May: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame (Class of 2006)

May was signed by the Reds out of Birmingham, AL in 1961. He toiled in the farm system for almost six full seasons before he broke through with a stellar rookie performance in 1967. In only 438 at-bats, May belted twelve home runs and drove in 57. May was named The Sporting News Rookie of the Year for his efforts. Teammate Tommy Helms christened May, "The Big Bopper of Birmingham" and May's impressive rookie campaign helped to solidify the nickname.

Over the next two seasons, May blossomed into one of the league's top power hitters and the Reds inched ever closer to a title. May lead the club in home runs in 1968 and 1969 and the '69 Reds finished just four games off the pace in the newly formed National League Western Division. May was also becoming a clubhouse leader. A no-nonsense personality combined with a biting sense of humor allowed May to be both disarming and persuasive. May gradually had become the player most likely to be tapped to put out clubhouse fires. Manager Sparky Anderson once commented, "I can't tell you how many times I had May in for a little talk about something that was wrong and he'd say, 'OK, Skip, I'll take care of it'".

At 6'3" and 205 lbs., May was also an intimidating physical presence. He joked once about his ability to convince Helms to retrieve any and all pop-ups in the high sky at Wrigley Field. If the second baseman failed to do so, "He would be talking to me (May) after the game." Not surprisingly, according to May, the diminutive Helms seemed to play some of his best games in Chicago, chasing down every ball that was hit to the right side of the infield. There was certainly more than a little humor infusing his directive to his longtime teammate, but Helms's reaction also made it clear that May's words carried great weight in the clubhouse.

Led by new manager Sparky Anderson, the 1970 Reds domination of the National League cemented the "Big Red Machine" label that had been affixed to the club the previous year. After sweeping the Pirates in the LCS, the Reds squared off against the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

In a Series best remembered for Elrod Hendricks's phantom tag of Bernie Carbo in Game 1 and the brilliant defensive play of Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson, Lee May shone for the Reds. May batted an impressive .389 in the Series and set a record for a five game Series by driving in eight runs. His biggest hit came in Game 4 with the Reds facing elimination after losing the Series' first three contests.

Trailing 5-3 in the eighth inning, May came to the plate with two runners on base. Facing reliever Eddie Watt, May launched a three-run blast on the first pitch he saw that gave the Reds a 6-5 lead that, unlike in the Series' first two games, they would not relinquish. Said a jubilant May after the game, "I knew it was gone as soon as I hit it and the only thing I could think as I was running the bases was how fortunate we were. When I got back to the bench I was still so thrilled and amazed that all I saw were people's faces and all I heard were sounds."

Although the Orioles' Series clinching victory the next day overshadowed May's clutch home run, there was much for May and the Reds to feel good about. They were a young team that had demonstrated an ability to overwhelm National League competition and they had shown themselves to be a more than worthy adversary to the American League's powerhouse club.

The prohibitive favorites to repeat their success of the year before, the 1971 Reds stumbled out of the gate and never recovered, finishing a woeful 79-83. Despite the club's poor performance, May had another outstanding season pacing the club for the third time in home runs and, for the first time, led the team in RBI as well. His exemplary performance netted him the club's Most Valuable Player award as well as his first appearance on the National League All-Star team. May's strong season notwithstanding, Reds General Manager Bob Howsam concluded that the 1971 season had exposed fundamental weaknesses in his club. Foremost among them was a lack of team speed. Playing on the Astroturf at Riverfront Stadium, Howsam determined that the Reds needed to become faster.

Source of Excerpt: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Lee May. Full Biography .

The Big Bopper of Birmingham had three 100 RBI seasons with three different Major League teams: the 1969 Cincinnati Reds , the 1973 Houston Astros , and the 1976 Baltimore Orioles . At the time of his retirement (09/24/1982), May was one of only eight Major Leaguers to reach the 100-RBI plateau with three different teams, the others being Dick Allen , Orlando Cepeda , Rocky Colavito , Goose Goslin , Rogers Hornsby , Reggie Jackson , Al Simmons and Vic Wertz .

Last-Modified: September 28, 2018 2:54 AM EST

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