"Didn't you have any other interests?"
"No, playing baseball was all I knew and that's all I wanted to do."
"Did you think baseball would just go on forever?"
Mantle shrugged. "I don't think I ever really thought about it, I just did it. Everything was spontaneous to me. I didn't think out anything. Maybe I really did think that baseball was going to go on forever.
"Or maybe in the back of my mind I did think I wasn't going to last till 40. I just know that the one thing I would change, I would take better care of myself. I would. I'm sorry about that."
His voice trailed off. His eyes seemed damp and tinged with red. Were they still watering from that windy round of golf, I wondered, or from the liquor, or were they misty with regrets?
"You still think about baseball a lot?"
"I dream about it," he said. "Every night almost."
"What kind of dream?"
"Well, first of all I take a cab to the ball park, and I'm in my uniform and I've got a bat. And I get there and the game's going on and I hear them say, Mickey Mantle batting, Number Seven, Mickey Mantle.