The Cincinnati Reds have a great history full of great players. Names like Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson and many other quickly come to mind when thinking of this organization. While often overlooked, Lee May is a player that should also be part of that list. Often remembered for a surprising trade, Lee May had a productive career that eventually landed him in the Reds Hall of Fame.
Lee May’s career in professional baseball began back in 1961. It was at that time that he became a member of the teams farm system. It took several years, but finally May was moved to the majors. His wait was not in vain. Lee May put together an incredible rookies season which eventually earned him rookie of the year honors. Over the next few years May would establish himself as a productive player. His accomplishments over this time would include being selected to an all star game, leading his team to the playoffs and being selected team MVP. Despite such accomplishments however, May’s time with the Reds would soon be over.
In 1971 the Reds traded Lee May. The ownership had a desire to get more team speed and improve their play in the postseason. The trade allowed them to acquire Joe Morgan, a player who was not well known at that time. Many, including May, were shocked by the trade. May would go on to play for several other teams during the rest of his career including the Astros and the Royals. He was a very productive player and eventually was voted into the Reds Hall of Fame years later in 2006. It’s an honor he didn’t see coming but was honored to receive. Lee May would pass away years later in 2017. His career in baseball though is still remembered and respected by baseball fans everywhere.