Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, July 1, 2010

1976 Topps #481 - Rudy May

  • Rudy "The Dude" May pitched in the majors in 1965 and from 1969-1983. May was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 1962. Rudy pitched in the minors in the Twins' system in 1963 and then was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first-year player draft. After spending the 1964 season in the White Sox' system Rudy was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies turned around and traded May (with Costen Shockley) to the California Angels for Bo Belinsky. 
  • Rudy was with the Angels in 1965 and was 4-9 with a 3.92 ERA in 30 games (19 starts). Rudy no-hit the Detroit Tigers for 7 1/3 innings in his first game (he allowed one hit through nine innings but the Angels lost the game in the 13th inning). May then went back to the minors for the next three years. He saw limited duty in 1966 and 1967, possibly due to injury or military obligations.
  • May was back in the majors to stay (except for a couple of minor league rehab assignments in the early  80s). In 1969 Rudy was 10-13 with two saves and a 3.44 ERA in 43 games (25 starts). May was 7-13 with a 4.01 ERA in 34 starts for the Angels in 1970.
  • Rudy was a starting pitcher for the Angels for the next few years and put up some good numbers (11-12, 3.02 ERA in 1971 and 12-11, 2.94 ERA in 1972). 
  • In 1973 May's record dropped to 7-17 and his ERA went up to 4.38. Rudy started the season 5-0 but then hurt his back and struggled, going 1-11 during one stretch. Rudy became a reliever for the Angels in 1974. He pitched in 18 games (3 starts) and was 0-1 with two saves when he was sold to the New York Yankees on June 15. Rudy was put into the Yankees' starting rotation and was 8-4 with a 2.28 ERA during the rest of the 1974 season.
  • Rudy had a nice year, possibly his best, for the Yankees in 1975. He was 14-12 with a 3.06 ERA in 31 starts. The Yankees' Forgotten Starter - May 1975 Baseball Digest.  May was off to a pretty good start in 1976 (4-3, 3.57 ERA in 11 starts) when he was traded with Rick DempseyTippy MartinezScott McGregor and Dave Pagan to the Baltimore Orioles for Doyle AlexanderJimmy FreemanElrod HendricksKen Holtzman and Grant Jackson. May was 11-7 with a 3.78 ERA for the remainder of the 1976 season.
  • May had a career high in wins in 1977 as he was 18-14 with a 3.61 ERA. After the 1977 season May was traded with Randy Miller and Bryn Smith to the Montreal Expos for Joe KerriganGary Roenicke and Don Stanhouse. Baltimore ended up getting five members of their 1979 AL pennant-winning team from these two trades.
  • Rudy missed about six weeks in 1978 with an injury. He ended up 8-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 23 starts. In 1979 May was a reliever until July 31. He then started in most of his remaining appearances. May ended up 10-3 with a 2.31 ERA in 31 games (7 starts). After the 1979 season Rudy became a free agent and signed with the Yankees.
  • May was a reliever again in 1980 until being put in the starting rotation in late June. He was able to accumulate enough innings to qualify for the AL ERA title. Rudy was 15-5 with three saves and a 2.46 ERA in 41 games (17 starts). May started game 2 of the ALCS and pitched a complete game but lost the game 3-2.
  • Rudy didn't do as well in 1981. He pitched in 27 games (22 starts) and was 6-11 with a 4.14 ERA. May started game 2 of the ALCS and allowed three runs in 3.1 innings but was able to escape with a no-decision. Rudy made three relief appearances in the World Series and had a 2.84 ERA.
  • May had an injury in 1982 and missed about a month of the season. He mostly pitched out of the bullpen and was pretty effective, going 6-6 with three saves and a 2.89 ERA in 41 games (6 starts). Rudy had a tougher time in 1983. He was 1-5 with a 6.87 ERA in 15 games and retired after the season.

  • Liked to face: Deron Johnson (.000 in 20 AB); Rick Burleson (.071 in 28 AB); Freddie Patek (.081 in 37 AB)
  • Hated to face: Jim Rice (.706 in 17 AB); Paul Schaal (.591 in 22 AB); Cookie Rojas (.533 in 30 AB); Curt Motton (3 for 4 and all three hits were home runs!)

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