Baseballs Greatest Hitters of All Time
Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays
For the past 50 years in baseball when the subject of player comparisons came up, the Mantle-Mays debate was by far the most discussed.
Prior to the 1965 season (1951-1964) Mantle's career numbers were H.R.- 454  Avg.- 309,  O.B.%- 429,  Slg.%- 582 compared to Mays, H.R.- 453  Avg.- 313,  O.B.%- 388, Slg.% 589. The numbers at this point of their career were fairly even and both players have favorable home/away splits. When we compare their 15 hitting seasons head to head, Willie clearly wins by a 10 to 5 margin.
The '56 season.....the Triple Crown, that one season, one of the greatest in baseball history,put Mickey Mantle in every discussion as one of the all-time greatest hitters in baseball history. When we focus in on their prime years, 1956 to 1961 as 24-30 year old players, Mickey was the better hitter in 5 of those 6 seasons. In the 1965 season, we begin the breakdown in Mickey's career with a sub-par season of 19 H.R. 56 RBI's and a .265 Avg. and we begin to see Willie create a distance in their career numbers with 52 H.R., 112 RBI's to go along with a .317 Avg. Our results, when comparing these greats, career statistics-  Willie Mays is clearly the better hitter, but at their best, in their prime years, the nod goes to Mickey Mantle.
Our Career Rank: Willie Mays # 10,   Mickey Mantle # 16
The top 5 hitting seasons:
1.) Mantle1956  4.717 Points
2.) Mantle1957  4.654 Points
3.) Mantle1961  4.648 Points
4.) Mays  1954  4.572 Points
5.) Mays  1955  4.559 Points

(Please note the 1952 and 1953 seasons were omitted since Mays was in the military and the 1963 season when Mantle missed most of the season with a broken foot. Our yearly comparison is 15 of their 18 seasons
Player
Year
Age
Runs
H.R.
RBI's
Avg.
OB%
Slg%
Points
Edge
Mantle
1951
19
 61
 13
  65
267
349
443
4.040

Mays
1951
20
 59
 20
  68
274
356
472
4.098
Mays











Mantle
1954
22
129
 27
102
300
408
525
4.347

Mays
1954
23
119
 41
110
345
411
667
4.572
Mays











Mantle
1955
23
121
 37
  99
306
431
611
4.471

Mays
1955
24
123
 51
127
319
400
659
4.559
Mays











Mantle
1956
24
132
 52
130
353
464
705
4.717
Mantle
Mays
1956
25
101
 36
  84
296
369
557
4.308












Mantle
1957
25
121
 34
  94
365
512
665
4.654
Mantle
Mays
1957
26
112
 35
  97
333
407
626
4.474












Mantle
1958
26
127
 42
  97
304
443
592
4.476
Mantle
Mays
1958
27
121
 29
  96
347
419
583
4.453












Mantle
1959
27
104
 31
  75
285
390
514
4.259

Mays
1959
28
125
 34
104
313
381
583
4.403
Mays











Mantle
1960
28
119
 40
  94
275
399
558
4.354
Mantle
Mays
1960
29
107
 29
103
319
381
555
4.352












Mantle
1961
29
131
 54
128
317
448
687
4.648
Mantle
Mays
1961
30
129
 40
123
308
393
584
4.446












Mantle
1962
30
 96
 30
  89
321
486
605
4.486

Mays
1962
31
130
 49
141
304
384
615
4.501
Mays











Mantle
1964
32
 92
 35
111
303
423
591
4.419

Mays
1964
33
121
 47
111
296
383
607
4.441
Mays











Mantle
1965
33
 44
 19
  46
255
379
452
4.043

Mays
1965
34
118
 52
112
317
398
645
4.523
Mays











Mantle
1966
34
 40
 23
  56
288
389
538
4.186

Mays
1966
35
 99
 37
103
288
368
556
4.317
Mays











Mantle
1967
35
 63
 22
  55
245
391
434
4.061

Mays
1967
36
 83
 22
  70
263
334
453
4.076
Mays











Mantle
1968
36
 57
 18
  54
237
385
398
3.996

Mays
1968
37
 84
 23
  79
289
372
488
4.187
Mays











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