Saturday, November 28, 2009

1976 Topps #281 - Dave May

  • Dave May is probably remembered most for being the guy the Braves got in exchange for Hank Aaron. I was 8 years old when the Braves made the trade and I remember wondering how the Braves could be so stupid. Things like age (about all Aaron could really do at that stage of his career was to hit) didn't enter into my mind at that time.
  • Dave May was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1961. May played one year in the minors for the Giants (.379 at Class D Salem), then the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the "first year player draft" in 1962. Dave spent the next several years playing in the minors. He made his major league debut on July 28, 1967. May was mostly a pinch hitter and spare outfielder in '67 and batted .235 in 85 at bats.
  • May spent most of 1968 with the Orioles except for a one-month stint at AAA Rochester from mid-June to mid-July. Dave batted .191 in 152 at bats for the Orioles in '68. May was in the majors to stay in 1969. He batted .242 in 120 at bats and was 0 for 3 in the postseason.
  • In 1970 Dave wasn't getting used very much by the Orioles (.194 in 31 at bats, mostly as a pinch hitter) and on June 15 he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Dick Baney and Buzz Stephen. He played in 100 games for the Brewers and finished the season with a .236 average in 373 at bats.
  • Dave became the starting CF for the Brewers in 1971 and showed some ability with the bat. He homered 16 times and batted .277 with 65 RBI that season. In 1972 May tailed off somewhat, batting .238 with 9 homers and 45 RBI in 144 games.
  • May had his best season in 1973. He was named to the AL All Star team (he was 0 for 2) and was 8th in MVP voting. Dave batted .303 with 25 HR, 93 RBI, and 96 runs scored. He also led the AL in total bases with 295. May slumped badly in 1974, batting .226 with 10 HR and 42 RBI. After the 1974 season Dave was traded with a minor leaguer to the Atlanta Braves for Hank Aaron.
  • In 1975 Dave was used as a 4th outfielder and played in 82 games. He batted .276 with 12 RBI and 40 RBI. May was a backup again in 1976 and batted .215 with three home runs in 235 at bats. After the 1976 season Dave was shipped to the Texas Rangers as part of a big trade that brought Jeff Burroughs to the Braves.
  • Dave started most of the time in RF for the Rangers in 1977. He batted .241 with 7 HR and 42 RBI in 340 AB. May wasn't in the Rangers' plans for 1978 and on May 18 he was sold to the Brewers. he saw his first action of 1978 on May 21. Dave didn't do a whole lot for the Brewers (.195 in 77 AB) and was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 13. He went 0 for 4 for the Pirates and was released after the season. Dave tried to catch on with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979 but was cut during spring training.
  • Dave May is the father of Derrick May, who played in the majors from 1990-1999.


  1. I always thought it intriguing that the Braves used a lower case 'a' on their hat for a while. I don't think any team ever used a lower case letter for a symbol besides them.

  2. For awhile the Brewers had a lowercase 'm' and a lowercase 'b' that were put together to look like a baseball glove.