In 1969 Lou Piniella won the MLB Rookie of the Year award but Carlos May was selected The Sporting News Rookie of the Year. Despite the fact that his season ended prematurely when he lost his thumb as a Marine Reserve, he put up better numbers than Lou Piniella. Their batting averages were nearly identical, .282 for Sweet Lou and .281 for Carlos. But May had a much better on base percentage because of a better strike out to walk ratio. He also had more power hitting 18 homers to Piniella's 11 despite playing in 35 fewer games. May was also the only Rookie of the Year candidate to play in the All Star game. He struck out on Hall of Famer Phil Niekro's knuckleball. Meanwhile his brother, Lee May of the Reds, was playing 1st base and trying to hide his laughter.