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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Milt May
Catcher
Born: August 1, 1950 (1950-08-01) (age 59)
Gary, Indiana
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 81970 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 301984 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Batting average     .263
Hits     971
Runs     313
Home runs     77
Runs batted in     443
On-base plus slugging     .318
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • World Series champion (1971)
  • Drafted: 1968 by Pittsburgh Pirates (Round: 11)
  • Drove in Major League Baseball's 1,000,000th Run (1975)
  • Highest Ever Batting Average for a San Francisco Giants catcher (1981)

Milton Scott May (born August 1, 1950 in Gary, Indiana) is a former professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues from 1970 to 1984 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and San Francisco Giants.[1] May was a catcher who hit for a fairly high batting average during the era in which he played. He spent 15 seasons as a catcher in the major leagues, played in the 1971 World Series for Pittsburgh and had .263 career average with 77 home runs.[2] He also drove in the millionth run in MLB history on May 4, 1975, with three-run homer.[2]

Contents

Personal

He is the son of baseball third baseman Pinky May and the brother-in-law of pitcher Pat Osburn. May was a shortstop at St. Petersburg High School.[2] He lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife, Brenda.[2] He has two children: Scott and Merily.[2]

Career

Milt was signed as an infielder in the 11th round of the 1968 Major League Baseball Draft by the Pirates, who then converted him into a catcher.[3] He was a good handler of pitchers and a left-handed line drive hitter who rarely swung at a bad pitch, but also was reputedly the slowest runner in the majors for much of his career.[4]

At age 21, May was a member of the Pirates team that won the 1971 World Series.[1] In the 7th inning of Game Four of that series, his pinch single drove in Bob Robertson with the winning run in a 4-3 Pirate victory.[5] Tragedy struck the Pirates in late 1972, when outfielder Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash. May was slated to replace Clemente in the Pirates' lineup in 1973, with catcher Manny Sanguillén moving to right field. However the experiment ended by July when it was determined that Sanguillen could not adjust to playing in the outfield and May was back on the Pirates' bench.[6]

After the 1973 season, the Houston Astros traded Jerry Reuss for May, making him their everyday catcher, replacing veteran Johnny Edwards. He led National League catchers with a .993 fielding percentage in 1974.[7] On May 4, 1975, May drove in Bob Watson for Major League Baseball's one millionth run.[2] He was charged with 18 passed balls in 1975 for the Astros, who had knuckleballer Joe Niekro on their staff.[8]

May was then traded to Detroit, where he played six games in 1976, before a broken ankle sidelined him for the season. He recovered in 1977 to record 12 double plays and 0 passed balls.[1] In 1978, May platooned with an up and coming Lance Parrish. By 1979, Parrish had taken over as the regular Tigers catcher, and May was traded to the Chicago White Sox. After only one year in Chicago, he then signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent.[3] On June 13, 1980, during a 3-1 win over the New York Mets‚ May hit the 9000th home run in the history of the Giants franchise. John Montgomery Ward hit home run #1 in 1883‚ and the 8‚000th was hit by Bobby Bonds on September 4‚ 1971. In 1981, he batted .310 -the highest mark ever for a Giants catcher.

He was re-acquired by the Pirates late in 1983, and was made a coach for 1987.[9] After retiring from baseball, he had a coaching career with various teams. He was major-league hitting coach for ten seasons in Pittsburgh (1987-96) and two with the Florida Marlins (1997-98).[2] He spend the first half of the 1999 season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and was later named a pitching coach for the Colorado Rockies.[2] "Scouted for Colorado in 2000, then spent the 2001 season as a Pirates minor-league hitting coordinator."[2]

See also

References

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