White Sox: The Mount Rushmore of utility players

Phil Watson
Ivan Calderon of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ivan Calderon of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Carlos May of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Mount Rushmore of White Sox utility players: Carlos May

Carlos May could flat out rake, but he was a man without a position during much of his time with the Chicago White Sox because he had difficulty fielding.

In 644 games in left field, May committed 18 errors. The White Sox also gave him a look at first base, but in just 207 games, May had 27 errors. There was no designated hitter rule early in his career, though he did take advantage of it when it arrived in 1973.

The White Sox took May with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 1966 draft as a high school player from Birmingham, Alabama. He got a cup of coffee with the White Sox in 1968, playing 17 games after rosters expanded, and was an All-Star in his official rookie season of 1969.

May was injured in August of that season and missed the remainder of the season. While serving his two weeks of active duty in the Marine Corps Reserve, May lost the top of his right thumb in an accident while cleaning a mortar tube. Despite being limited to 100 games, May still finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting.

He didn’t miss a beat at the plate and was an All-Star for the second time in 1972 and posted career highs of 20 homers and 96 RBI as Chicago’s primary DH in 1973.

In May 1976, May was traded to the New York Yankees, with left-hander Ken Brett coming back to Chicago along with journeyman outfielder Rich Coggins.

He also played with the California Angels but after the 1977 season, May signed to play with the Nankai Hawks in Japan, where he spent four seasons.

In parts of nine seasons with the White Sox, May hit .275 with a .758 OPS in 1,002 games and 4,164 plate appearances. He had 143 doubles, 85 homers and drove in 479 runs. He scored 486 times.

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