In honor of the 60th anniversary of his call up to the major leagues, LIFE magazine is releasing previously unpublished photos of the greatest baseball player ever, Willie Mays.
With all due respect to Aaron, Musial, and even Ruth, Willie Mays was the greatest all-around player baseball's ever seen. The epitome of the "five tool" threat -- he could run, throw, field, hit for average and with astonishing power -- Mays bedeviled opponents and thrilled fans for more than two decades. Here, on the 60th anniversary of his 1951 major league debut, LIFE.com presents previously unpublished photos of Mays by Loomis Dean, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and Ralph Morse from the '50s and '60s -- an era when the Say Hey Kid's preternatural talent and infectious joy on the diamond provided millions with one more giant reason to love the game.h/t to Baseball Musings.
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