Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Sunday, August 22, 2010

1976 Topps #532 - Milt May

  • Milt May was in the majors from 1970-1984. May was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1968. Milt was signed as an infielder and the Pirates converted him to catcher. May spent three seasons in the minors and was brought up at the end of the 1970 season a month after he turned 20. Milt played in five games and went 2 for 4 (.500).
  • May was a backup catcher for the next two seasons. In 1971 he batted .278 in 49 games. Milt appeared in one game in the NLCS and went 0 for 1. He played in two games in the World Series and was 1 for 2. He singled in Bob Robertson with the winning run in the seventh inning of game 4 In 1972 Milt batted .281 in 57 games. He played in one game in the NLCS and was 1 for 2.
  • Roberto Clemente died in the offseason and the Pirates decided to try Manny Sanguillen in RF and start May at catcher. In the middle of the season Milt went back to the bench when Sanguillen was unable to adjust to playing right field. May batted .269 in 101 games in 1973. After the 1973 season the Pirates traded May to the Houston Astros for Jerry Reuss.
  • Milt became Houston's starting catcher in 1974 and performed well, batting .289 with 7 HR in 127 games. In 1975 Milt batted .241 in 111 games. On May 5, 1975 Milt drove in Bob Watson with the millionth run in major league history. After the 1975 season May and Jim Crawford were traded to the Detroit Tigers for Mark Lemongello, Gene Pentz, Leon Roberts, and Terry Humphrey.
  • Milt played in only six games in 1976 (.280 in 25 AB). He broke his ankle on April 20 and missed the rest of the season. May batted .249 with a career-high 12 HR in 1977. May batted .250 with 10 HR in 1978. The Tigers gave the starting catcher  job to Lance Parrish in 1979 and May's playing time sharply declined. He went 3 for 11 in six games for the Tigers before he was sold to the Chicago White Sox on May 27. Milt batted .272 in 65 games for the White Sox in '79.
  • May became a free agent and signed a four-year contract with the San Francisco Giants. Milt batted .260 in 111 games for the Giants in 1980. May had his best year for the Giants in 1981 when he batted .310 in 97 games. In 1982 May batted .263 in 114 games.
  • In 1983 Milt split time with Bob Brenly behind the plate. Milt batted .247 in 66 games for the Giants before he was traded (along with cash) to the Pirates on August 19 for Steve Nicosia. Milt played in seven games for the Pirates in 1983 and batted .250.
  • Tony Pena had a firm hold on the starting catcher job in 1984 and May was used mostly as a pinch hitter. Milt batted .177 in 96 at bats in 1984 and retired after the season.
  • May started coaching for the Pirates in 1987. He was the hitting coach for the Pirates from 1987 through 1996. He was the hitting coach for the Florida Marlins in 1997 and 1998 and then coached for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the first part of the 1999 season. Milt was the pitching coach for the Colorado Rockies for the last part of the 1999 season. He was a scout for the Rockies in 2000 and the minor league hitting coordinator for the Pirates in 2001. He now lives in Bradenton, FL.
  • Liked to face: Pedro Borbon (.615 in 13 AB); Don Robinson (.500 in 16 AB); Luis Tiant (.409 in 22 AB)
  • Hated to face: Ron Guidry (.000 in 9 AB); Tom Burgmeier (.063 in 16 AB); Frank Pastore (.071 in 28 AB)

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