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Mickey Mantle is recovering from liver transplant surgeryearly this morning. Theformer Yankee great, 63, received the organ just two days after doctors at Baylor University hospital decided that his advanced liver cancer, complicated by hepatitis, would soon kill him otherwise. Physicians insisted that Mantle's age and deteriorating condition -- not his fame -- put him at the top on the waiting list when they found a new liver Wednesday night. "A lot of people were suspicious of this--last night we'd heard it could be three or four weeks, and now today he has the new liver," says TIME Dallas reporter Carlton Stowers. "But everything seems to indicate that this was on the level and it really was his turn." While the average Baylor patient waits 140 days for a transplant if not in critical condition, Mantle's doctors noted, patients usually get a new organ within three days if they are near death.