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Baseball's greats from seasons past
Break out the peanuts and Crackerjack: baseball is back. With opening games in the 2012 season beginning tonight, we take a look back at some of the greats from yesteryear. See more great images at Life.com.

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The great Stan "The Man" Musial (C) from the St. Louis Cardinals shares a joke with teammates Lindy McDaniel (L) and Von McDaniel, 1957.

Mickey Mantle: a ballplayer's glory and pain

 

George SilkTIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

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Surrounded by the press, Mickey Mantle, center, smiles after hitting two home runs in the World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, PA in October 1960. The 1960 Series was one of five that Mantle's Yankees lost (this one on Mazeroski's shot, the only Game 7 walkoff home run in World Series history), but 1960 also saw his greatest postseason performance: a .400 average, three home runs, 11 RBIs, and eight walks. 

The New York Yankees, unpublished photos, Spring Training 1961

Art RickerbyTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Here, in a you-are-there Grey Villet picture made seconds after Robinsons steal, Yogi Berra takes very vocal issue with the umpires call as Robinson himself trots back to the Dodger dugout. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this photo, looking at it 55 years after it was taken, is that it so clearly and immediately reminds us of what an intense competitor Berra, like Robinson, really was. Today, he's often regarded as a universally admired, almost cuddly elder statesman of the game. But back then, when the game was on the line, Yogi Berra was a bad, bad man.

Willie Mays: Unpublished Life photographs

Grey VilletTIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

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Ted Williams in 1941 (wearing what appear to be very spiffy silk shorts).

The New York Yankees, unpublished photos, Spring Training 1961

Gjon MiliTIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

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A Loomis Dean photo of 22-year-old Willie Mays at spring training in Arizona in 1954, the year the Giants won the World Series the sole championship of Mays' long career.

Willie Mays: Unpublished Life photographs

Loomis DeanTIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

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NY Yankees rightfielder Roger Maris, head down and arms extended, finishinga beautiful swing that allowed him to hit 61 home runs and break the record set by Babe Ruth for most home runs in season.

The New York Yankees, unpublished photos, Spring Training 1961

Stan Wayman TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Baseball's greats from seasons past

Break out the peanuts and Crackerjack: baseball is back. With opening games in the 2012 season beginning tonight, we take a look back at some of the greats from yesteryear. See more great images at Life.com.

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