Carlos May (born May 17, 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama) is an American former professional baseball player. May played ten seasons on three Major League Baseball (MLB) teams – the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and California Angels. May also played four seasons in Japan for the Nankai Hawks, from 1978 through 1981. Primarily a left fielder, May batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
May worked for the United States Postal Service for 20 years as a mail carrier and clerk after playing baseball. He is currently a community relations representative for the White Sox. Carlos May is the younger brother of Lee May who played in the major leagues for eighteen seasons. In 1969, they were the first brothers to appear together in the same All Star Game who represented both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL); Joe and Dom DiMaggio appeared together multiple times as AL All-Stars.
He began his major league career on September 6, 1968, but did not have his first full year until 1970. In 1969, he suffered a severe injury while serving in the Marine Reserves, at Camp Pendleton in California. May was cleaning a mortar gun when it fired causing a partial amputation of his right thumb. He won Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award, but lost to Lou Piniella for baseball's rookie of the year award. In 1970, as the White Sox' full-time left fielder, he had a good breakout season, batting .285 with 12 home runs and 68 RBIs. However, the White Sox had a miserable year, finishing 50 games under .500 and in last place in the American League, 42 games out of first place. In 1971 he batted .294 with 70 RBIs while playing regularly at first base for the only time in his career. He would move back to the outfield after an offseason trade that brought the White Sox superstar Dick Allen.
Throughout the early 1970s, May continued to help the White Sox improve as a solid everyday starter for them. In 1972, he hit .308 and had 28 stolen bases, which would both end up his career-highs in the respective categories. That year, Chicago finished in 2nd place in the AL, behind only the Oakland Athletics. In 1973 he collected 20 home runs and 96 RBIs, which would end up his career highs in those categories.
May did get a crack at postseason play, but not with the White Sox. On May 18, 1976, he was traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ken Brett and fellow outfielder Rich Coggins. The deal was made while the Yankees were in a heated pennant race. That year, he hit .278 and the Yankees went to the World Series. During the ALCS, May went 2-for-10 with a double and a walk. In the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, he did not get a hit in 9 at bats and ended up with a .105 batting average in the postseason.
He was an All-Star in 1969 and 1972 and made the top 10 in batting average and stolen bases twice.
In a 10-year career, he hit .274 with 90 home runs and 536 RBIs in 1165 games. He had 85 career stolen bases and 545 runs scored. In 4120 at bats, he had 1127 career hits.
After wearing number 29 as a rookie with the White Sox, May switched to the number 17 and wore it for the remainder of his White Sox career. He is the only player in MLB history to wear his birthday (month and day ; May 17) and his name (May) and birthday (day; 17) on the back of his jersey.
In 2012, May joined the coaching staff of the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team, in the Frontier League.