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Lee May, a Reds Hall of Famer, passed away in the summer of 2017. He was 74-years-old. Let’s take a moment to remember who he was.
The late Hall of Famer is best known for playing for the Reds, who ended up trading him in order to get Joe Morgan. This is when the Big Red Machine teams of 75 and 76 rose up and scored some titles. The ballplayer played a crucial part of the Machine’s first incarnation. It’s the era in which the club won over 60 victories in their first 100 games, which occurred during the season of 1970. This is also the year the team won their first pennant in over eight years.
In 1961, Lee May moved over to the Reds and it took him a few years before he started to really shine. He had over 10 home runs and drove in over 50, and this eventually led to him becoming the rookie of the year (Sporting News). He also earned the nickname “The Big Bopper,” which was given to him by Tommy Helms. That nickname was solidified during his rookie career.
Lee May went on to become one of the top hitters in the league and he helped the Reds get closer and closer to getting a title. His skills also led to him being named a leader of the clubhouse and he was known for handling issues that may have occurred. In fact, Sparky Anderson made a comment about how he called in Lee May when there was anything wrong and he would tell him he would take care of it.