FIELD OF MEMORIES
Yankee legend Mickey Mantle, the greatest switch-hitter ever to play the game, laments the fact that diamonds aren't forever. "Baseball was my whole life, and then one day, all of a sudden, it's over," says Mantle, 59, who has written a book, My Favorite Summer, 1956, about the year he won baseball's triple crown for leading the American League in batting, home runs and runs batted in. "I try to stay busy playing golf, but my legs are pretty bad. My handicap has gone from 4 to 9, and I don't like doing stuff that I can't do good. I just stay busy as much as possible with other business ventures, card shows, whatever. Hell, I make 10 times more money now than I ever did as a player, but it's not as much fun. In fact, I'd go back to making $100,000 a year [his highest salary as a player] in a second if I could just play ball again."

THE RAIL THING
Here's the skinny on Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson, 24, and perhaps the thinnest rocker since the Cars' Ric Ocasek. "I've always been this way," says Robinson, who carries only 130 lbs. on his 6'2" frame. "I never really thought Meat Loaf looked very good onstage, no offense. But it's not that I make myself look like this; it's the way I'm built. Maybe it's because I'm so hyperactive at annoying everyone in the band—that's really my day job." Queried about the most surprising aspect of rock stardom, Robinson says, with a laugh, "I thought it was going to be a lot easier to get good pot." The grass is always greener on the other side, babe.

MAJOR MOM
After two seasons as one of the busy stars on the CBS sitcom Major Dad, Minima Reed says she is ready for a pregnant pause. "I'm very ready right now," says Reed, 35 and married to film director Terrence O'Hara. "The show's producers are very family-oriented. At the beginning of the second season, I went to them and said, 'I'd like to cut my hair and get pregnant,' and hey said, 'Go ahead and get pregnant, but we'd like you to leave your hair long.' "

SHE KIDS US NOT
"People blame youth for their problems, and I think it's cut-and-dried to do that," says Ally Sheedy, 28, when asked about the recent arrests of several former child stars. Sheedy, who stars with John Candy in the new John Hughes comedy, Only the Lonely, went through her own bout of rehab for drugs in 1989. "If you have a tendency to become a drug addict or an alcoholic or a compulsive eater, whatever your trip is, it's something you may have inherited from your family or developed because of a lot of other factors. There are a lot of young, successful stars who don't develop drug problems after their show is canceled. I knew that I liked gelling high in high school, before I began acting [in movies]. I took tranquilizers to escape from my emotional problems. It's easy to blame youth and show business, but there are a lot of kids robbing stores or banks who aren't failed actors."