Since I wrote a blog yesterday on ‘10’, I thought today I would blog about my favorite number – 7. Coincidentally, it was Mickey Mantle’s number, and, yes, that’s the reason why it is my favorite number. Mickey Mantle was my hero and getting to meet him was a thrilling moment for me, on more than one occasion, I might add. The first time ever was when he was in Longview for a promotion at a local insurance company in town. I went out, interview him and had my photo taken with Mickey. I have it on my Yankee wall in our office, along with my other Yankee collectibles. I later got Mickey to sign a photo for my dad, which I also have on the wall. “To Floyd, Best Wishes. Signed, Mickey Mantle.” Dad was proud of that photo. He had it proudly displayed in his living room.
On the same wall, I have a little league picture of my grandson, Garrett, wearing his Yankee uniform from last season, his first to play baseball and he was chosen for a team called the Yankees. It is in a small metal Yankee frame. That was a big thrill for me, too, to have a photo of Garrett in a Yankee uniform. Also on the wall is a framed photo of a restaurant Cynthia and I went to in Oklahoma City , Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse. It is a double frame with Mickey’s career statistics on one side. Plus, there is a photo of Mickey, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra, sitting on the dugout steps at Yankee Stadium, as well as a framed Life magazine cover with Mickey from 1956 given to me by my step- daughter and her husband, Tammi and Kenny Carson. All the photos surround a framed column I wrote as a tribute to dad, on Father’s Day, 1995.
And that doesn’t even include a couple of Yankee pennants and an Upper Deck set of Yankees trading cards. It’s quite a wall, or as I call it my “Wall of Fame.” I got to interview Mantle some years later at a Longview golf course, and another time during a fund-raising golf tournament in Longview .
How about the name, Seven? There was one episode of Seinfeld, which I thought was hilariously funny, when George Costanza was trying to help a couple pick a name for their child when it was born. If it was going to be a boy, George had an idea, “How about Seven, it was Mickey Mantle’s number!” The couple thought the name was ridiculous. I knew one high school player with the name Seven. The first time it was called in to the newspaper one baseball season, I took the call and assumed it was spelled wrong. I figured it was Steven. I discovered later, his name was Seven Armstrong. Maybe his parents named him because they, too, were big fans of Mickey Mantle. To see more on Mickey, go to http://www.mickeymantle.com/.