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Monday, October 09, 2006

Lee May

Eligible in 1988.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:46 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#2204969)
He has no chance of collecting a HoM vote, but was a memorable player, nevertheless.
   2. kthejoker Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2204979)
Considering how great his appearance in the World Series was in 1970, he had a pretty awful season at the plate (.297 OBP!) Was there something wrong at some point that year? Because it breaks up a pretty decent 5 year peak from 68-72.
   3. OCF Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:24 PM (#2205014)
He came up nearly simultaneously with Tony Perez. The Reds were running a very complicated positional dance for several years there involving Perez, May, and Deron Johnson - with Tommy Helms also involved becuase Helms played 3rd base one of those years - and involving Helms (2B/3B) also involves Pete Rose (2B/OF). Eventually that settled down to May at 1st, Helms at 2nd, Perez at 3rd, and Rose in the oufield. They played several years with that configuration, then:

November 29, 1971

Traded Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart to the Houston Astros. Received Joe Morgan, Denis Menke, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo, and Ed Armbrister.


WOW! That was some deal.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2205031)
WOW! That was some deal.

Yup... and a three years later they tried to top it with the following:

December 3, 1974: (Lee May) Traded by the Houston Astros with Jay Schlueter to the Baltimore Orioles for Enos Cabell and Rob Andrews.

In 1975, the Reds were steamrolling through the NL with Morgan, Billingham & Geronimo and the Astros were left with Tommy Helms, Enos Cabell and Rob Andrews. I know the emergence of Watson made May expendable, but its too bad they didn't get much more him. Later they converted Helms into Art Howe which dampened some of the pain, but its still an egregious pair of trades.
   5. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2205038)
Interesting Lee May tidbit... no DH in the 1979 series! Lee May was effectively benched. The series went 7 games, so that might have made a difference.
   6. Cblau Posted: October 09, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#2205129)
Maybe, but the Pirates had guys like John Milner, Lee Lacy, and Mike Easler sitting around who were better hitters than May at that point.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 09, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#2205136)
November 29, 1971

Traded Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart to the Houston Astros. Received Joe Morgan, Denis Menke, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo, and Ed Armbrister.

WOW! That was some deal.


As a teenaged Reds fan, I was horrified by the deal at the time, because Lee May was one of my favorite players. I wrote general manager Bob Howsam expressing my displeasure, and to my surprise, he wrote back a letter explaining why the trade was made.

To my shame, I never wrote him back to apologise after it became clear that it was, in fact, a great trade for the Reds, and helped them win two World Series...
   8. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:54 PM (#2205192)
Maybe, but the Pirates had guys like John Milner, Lee Lacy, and Mike Easler sitting around who were better hitters than May at that point.

Oh... good point. I noticed the short WS stint and the high seasonal PA and thought there might be a late september injury and then I saw the no-DH in the series thing. I overlooked the fact that May had an OPS+ of 93 that year. Not very DH-like.

Never mind.

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