Ex-Orioles reserve outfielder Dave May dies at 68

Paul Blair remembers Dave May, who broke into baseball with the Orioles and spent 3-1/2 seasons here, as a skilled outfielder who was in the right place, but at the wrong time.

"Unfortunately, when he got here (in 1967), there wasn't any room for him to play. He just couldn't break into our lineup," said Blair, the Orioles standout center fielder who was flanked by Frank Robinson and Don Buford.

May died Saturday of cancer. The New Castle, Del., native was 68.

A reserve with the Orioles, he hit .216 before being dealt to Milwaukee in mid-1970. A journeyman who played for five clubs, May lasted 12 seasons and had his best year with the Brewers in 1973, when he had 25 home runs, 93 RBI and batted .303.

"He had great memories of Baltimore," said his son, Derrick May, who played 10 years in the majors and is now minor league hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

"Dad didn't play much with the Orioles, and he liked to tell about how he used to eat while sitting on the bench. That was against team rules, but he would sneak in his crab cakes and eat them when no one was looking."

Or so Dave May thought.

"One day, my father came into the dugout and there, where he usually sat, manager Earl Weaver had placed a table, with candles and a tablecloth," Derrick May said.

"He knew his secret was out."


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