The year is 1991. I'm heavy into collecting baseball cards and collecting autographs. I remember pulling a card of an up and coming player in the Cubs system from a pack of Score cards. His name is Derrick May. The picture of him running in the outfield with the ivy covered outfield wall of Wrigley Field in the background captures my attention. I start reading more about him and discover that his father, David May, played in the Major Leagues for the Orioles, Brewers, Braves, Rangers, & Pirates. This was a time that I loved reading about the history of the game of baseball and loved to learn about fathers and sons who played in the Major Leagues. Derrick May quickly became one of the players that I followed. In November 2014, I started what has become Signatures For Soldiers. One of the very first players (literally) that I reached out to ask if he would support Signatures For Soldiers by signing some cards was Derrick May. For nearly 7 years, Mr. Mayhas been a wonderful supporter, who I am truly blessed to have as a part of this effort. I'm excited that Mr. May agreed to answer a few questions in order to be highlighted in our new "Get To Know" segment where I hope to introduce you to the many players who are supporting Signatures For Soldiers. Thank you, Mr. May, for being willing to take time to answer a few questions and for your ongoing support. I hope you all enjoy.....Getting to Know Derrick May:Derrick May was drafted in the 1st Round (9th Overall) of the 1986 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Mr. May made his MLB debut for the Cubs on September 6 1990 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Mr. May went on to play 10 seasons (1990-1999) in the Major Leagues with the Cubs, Brewers, Astros, Phillies, Expos, and Orioles. Mr. May also played 3 seasons (2001-2003) in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines. SFS: You were drafted 9th Overall in the 1986 MLB Draft. What was that experience like for you? How did you find out about being drafted in the 1st Round? Derrick May: It was a great experience. However, very hectic. I didn't really mind the scouts that came to practices and games. I just played. The experience was a culmination of hard work and realizing a dream to have a chance to become a Major League player. I was home waiting for the phone to ring. Yes a phone! Computers and the Internet weren't exactly accessible. I got the call pretty quick and surprised it came so quickly. SFS: Your MLB debut occurred on September 6 1990 playing for the Cubs against the Philadelphia Phillies. Would you please talk about the days leading up to your debut? How/when did you find out about being called up to the Major Leagues? What thoughts/feelings did you experience when you found out? Please share any stories about this experience you’d like to share. Derrick May: I was called up after my AAA season had ended and it was on a bus heading back to Iowa from Omaha. I was told that I would be playing in Philadelphia. Of course I was excited. We had no cell phones then so I couldn't call anyone until we got back. When I got back I called my Dad, Mom and Fiancée. It was just a surreal moment. I had heard that I was going up the year before but that never happened. So for it to actually happen was one of the greatest moments of my life. SFS: You played 3 seasons in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines. What was that experience like? What were some of the challenges that you faced during your time in Japan? What did you enjoy the most from this experience? Derrick May: Playing in Japan was just an awesome experience. It kind of rejuvenated my love for the game. In Japan, the people treated my family and I great. Their enthusiasm and love of baseball brought the energy of playing back. The people there are just wonderful people. I have fond memories there. SFS: You last played in the Major Leagues in 1999. What have you been up to since that time? Derrick May: After 1999 I signed back with the Orioles to basically be insurance for the team in case someone got hurt but that didn't happen and was eventually released because of younger up and coming players. I returned home after my 3rd year in Japan. I was disappointed my 3rd year (2003) because of a nagging injury called plantar fascitis. I started my professional coaching career with the Cardinals in 2005, until 2016. I was a minor league hitting coach for 6 years before becoming the minor league hitting coordinator in 2011 for 5 years and in 2016 I was named Assistant MLB hitting coach. I coached 1 more year in the Rockies organization. In 2018 I started Beast of the East Baseball which is a baseball business that was started to help under represented communities that involved showcases and camps, as well as personal and group lessons. In 2021, I was named a manager in the new MLB Draft League (Frederick Keys) that will host future MLB prospects. I am pretty excited about it. SFS: You’ve been supporting Signatures For Soldiers efforts to raise money and awareness for Military Missions In Action for several years now. How did you first find out about Signatures For Soldiers? What has been the draw for you to support our efforts? What has it meant to you personally to see the growth of Signatures For Soldiers and the amount of money raised for MMIA? Derrick May: I believe Tim Virgilio reached out to me about sending/signing some items for Signatures for Soldiers. It is an honor to do it. The fact that I could help soldiers who are, have and had made the ultimate sacrifice for our country...it's the least I can do. I am so happy about the growth. I hope that in time there will be more money than they can count. Very deserving cause.
SFS: Thank you Mr. May for your time answering these questions. And for your ongoing support of our efforts to help raise money and awareness for Military Missions In Action and their work with homeless and disabled veterans.
If you enjoy reading these updates, please feel free to forward this update to anyone you may know who would be interested in learning more about SFS and our efforts. Please remind them that 100% of all of the money raised, not just proceeds, goes directly to Military Missions In Action (www.militarymissionsinaction.org) to help support their work with homeless and disabled veterans.
Please continue to share our link for others to sign up for regular email updates: https://mailchi.mp/f918b8d8ab39/sfs
Thank you again for your support. If you have specific questions or want to exchange ideas about how to support MMIA, please feel free to reach out to me.
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Listing of available items for sale with 100% going directly to MMIA (Please note that any items that are highlighted have been added since the last email update that went out):
Baseball Signed Cards Click Here
Baseball Signed Photos Click Here
Football Signed Cards Click Here
Football Signed Photos Click Here
Basketball Signed Cards Click Here
Basketball Signed Photos Click Here
Hockey Signed Photos Click Here
Racing Hero Cards Click Here