Stumbled across this in an old 1990-ish interview Mantle did with Bob Costas:
"I remember one time – I want everyone to know that I didn’t do this, I don’t think I ever really hurt my team that much, no.
"One time Bobby Layne, the old quarterback in Detroit, of the Detroit Lions, he was in town, in Detroit, one time. He took me out one night. And we drank way too much that night. And the next day, I went up to hit – and I didn’t take batting practice, or infield, or anything. And I could have hurt the team that day.
“But the first time up, I took the first pitch right down the middle, and I yelled at the umpire – I know you remember, I didn’t usually argue with umpires. And I just made him kick me out of that game, because I had no business in that game.”
It’s a funny story on one level. Man, Bobby Layne was a hard-livin’, championship-winnin’ dude.
But of course Mantle had alcoholism problems, went into treatment, and needed a liver transplant near the end of his life.