OK, now who is going to argue with these two taking up residence in the outfield on a "Team of the Decade" for the 1960's?
Granted, Mickey Mantle didn't play to his Hall of Fame standards throughout the 1960's, but based solely on his performance from 1960 through 1964, he earns a spot on the American League team easily.
For Willie Mays, it's a 100% no-brainer, as easy a pick as it gets!
Take a look at my card:
For Mantle, the decade did bring three second place finished for M.V.P. in 1960, 1961 and 1964, as well as a win in 1962, so "the Mick" did have some glory days left in him before he hung them up by 1968.
Throw in nine primary offensive stat titles, two world championships and eight all-star game appearances, and you see why his inclusion here is easy to live with.
One of the all-time most popular baseball players to ever suit up, his legend has not diminished one bit even with some controversy thrown in.
A first ballot Hall of Fame induction was a cinch, and he was indeed voted in on his first try in 1974.
For Mays, we're not just talking about one of the most popular players like Mantle, but arguably one of the top-3 players of all-time between the foul lines.
The "Say Hey Kid" was elected "Player of the Decade" for the 1960's, and looking at his numbers you can see why: An M.V.P. in 1965, six top-10 finishes in voting in other years, an all-star appearance every single year of the decade, nine Gold Gloves, and ten primary offensive league titles.
By the time HE was done roaming Major League outfields after the 1973 season, he was also as much of a "lock" for a first-ballot inductions as well, and that's exactly what happened in 1979, getting named to 409 or 432 ballots.
(Who could POSSIBLY leave his name off is not only inconceivable, but astounding!)
Just an incredible duo manning centerfield during the same era.
Two legends on one card.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do…
Next up, the last outfield spot, with another two future Hall of Famers: Al Kaline and Roberto Clemente.
Not bad huh?