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Home Run Derby 1960: Mickey Mantle vs Willie Mays

Anyone who follows baseball knows by now, the great Willie Mays passed away just a few days ago at the age of 93.  Whenever you talk about the greatest players of all-time, Mays most certainly (and deservedly) remains in the thick of that conversation.  Power, average, speed, arm strength, defense; Willie Mays was a textbook example of a five-tool player.

Willie Mays career happened long before I was even born, so my understanding of his career is through stories, videos and books.  Yes, that’s right… books.  As a kid, I read a book I had on the National Baseball Hall of Fame, cover to cover, many times over.  I learned about the players for the past through stories from my grandpa, my dad and coaches.  I also watched a lot of ESPN Classic.

On that channel, at least in those early days, they ran Home Run Derby, a series that ran for two seasons beginning in 1960.  A slugger representing each league would be featured in a Home Run Derby competition, filmed at an empty Wrigley Field (in LA, not Chicago).  The very first episode of this show featured the Yankees Mickey Mantle vs the Giants Willie Mays.

If you’ve never seen this show before you’re in for a treat.  It’s a fun and simple concept and perhaps MLB Network might even want consider a modern rendition.  Enjoy, Mantle vs Mays!

Brian is the Co-Owner/Managing Editor at Legends on Deck and Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. He's been writing about baseball at LOD since 2017. He grew up in the Detroit area and is a lifelong Tigers fan. However, he shares some affinity for his son George's favorite team, the Atlanta Braves. Brian also has a particular interest in the amateur side of the game, including high school, college and collegiate summer league baseball. Brian and George also love collecting and selling baseball cards. You can find them selling on eBay (@Kossball) or posting on George's Instagram (@Kossball). Brian lives in Horizon West (Winter Garden), Florida with his wife (Grace), three daughters and son George. You can also reach him at brianmkoss@gmail.com

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