The Big Bopper: Lee May

By Joecubs
Nov. 13, 2016

Lee May left his mark on Major League baseball by hitting 20 or more home runs, and driving in 80 runs in 11 consecutive seasons.  During his streak he played for the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, and Baltimore Orioles.   In 1969, he would hit 38 home runs which was good for third in the National League, and he established a career high for home runs by blasting 39 in 1971. 

The Cincinnati Reds included May in a blockbuster trade to the Houston Astros. The Reds sent first baseman Lee May,  second baseman Tommy Helms, and utility player Jimmy Stewart. The Reds would obtain future Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, outfielder Cesar Geronimo, and Jack Billingham.  The three players would become significant pieces on the Big Red Machine teams of the mid-70's. 

May continued produced the long ball despite playing in the Astrodome in Houston, one of the hardest places in Major League baseball to hit home runs. He had 29, 28, and 24 before being sent packing to the Baltimore Orioles.  In 1976, he led the American League in RBI with 109, to go with his 24 home runs.  In 1979, at age 36, his streak of 11 consecutive seasons with 20 plus home runs came to a close when he hit only 19. He would hit only 10 more over the course of the next three seasons, and finished his career with the Kansas City Royals.