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“This meant Ted Williams’s head was now ready to be cut off”

Dec 2, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Ted Williams

We’ve all heard about what happened to Ted Williams after he died. His son John-Henry Williams had his body transferred to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona where they froze his body in the hopes that, one day, medical science could reanimate The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.

There has been controversy and litigation about all of that over the past decade. Now come some details in the form of a new biography of Williams entitled The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams,” by Ben Bradlee Jr., to be published tomorrow by Little, Brown and Co. Today the Boston Globe has an adapted excerpt from it. Specifically, the part about what happened to The Kid’s body in the hours after his death.

It also has some background on how Williams’ body found its way to Alcor. Specifically, on John-Henry Williams’ fascination with cryogenics cryonics. A fascination so great that it may very well have trumped his father’s specific wishes about what he wanted to have done with his remains after he died.

You can read this as an interesting set of anecdotes about Ted Williams. You can also read this as a somewhat unsettling glimpse at what waits in store for many people who approach death and depend on their families to take care of their final wishes.

But either way: it’s the best thing you’ll hear about a former .400 hitter being decapitated all day. I guarantee you that.

  1. tmohr - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Ted’s son drew his inspiration from this, no doubt:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Re-Animator

    • aceshigh11 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Complete with the disembodied head giving, erm, “head”?

      What a classic movie. Herbert West lives!

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Ted would roll over in his grave if he knew what his son did with his body.

      • aceshigh11 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Roll over without a head??

        Now I’ve heard everything.

    • lisaggamino - Dec 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      —my friend’s step-aunt makes 82 usd an hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for six months but last month her paycheck was 20264 usd just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to website….;;;===== xurl.es/plh7x

  2. sdelmonte - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    I hope someone here reads the whole book for review purposes. And tells us if it’s a respectful intelligent work, like Jane Leavy’s bio of Koufax, or an angry muckraking tell-all like Cramer’s book on DiMaggio.

    • vettech23 - Dec 2, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      I agree. After you read it, let us know what you think.

  3. jrocknstuff - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    There was a book that came out about 5 or 6 years ago called “The Last Days of Dead Celebrities” which has all of the same information as this excerpt. Nothing new here.

  4. stex52 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Here are a few questions, but it’s a little too late to ask John Henry. Suppose they can recycle you in 500 years. Why would they? Who would take responsibility for you while you were growing up? What would you do in a society that would be so thoroughly changed that there would be no place for you? Who would you know?

    What a thoroughly stupid idea. Most likely someone will just shut off the refrigerators in a few years and the whole macabre experiment will be over. But somehow I’m glad to know that it wasn’t the Kid wanting that stuff. It was that crazy son.

    • moogro - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      Anyone interested in this will love this story about a man and his cryogenics company:

      http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/354/mistakes-were-made

      But don’t look ahead at details. Spoilers will ruin this. One of my favorite stories ever.

    • deathmonkey41 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      It worked out for Fry in the end.

      http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/04/22/arts/futurama/futurama-blog480.png

      • Old Gator - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        A sort of baseball version of Cold Lazarus: http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Lazarus-Enire-Series-Region/dp/B0047F5N0G/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1386008183&sr=1-1&keywords=cold+lazarus

      • stex52 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        “A World Out of Time” by Larry Niven. Not the best sci-fi novel ever, but addresses some of the issues in this.

      • spursareold - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        …and coined the best term ever for the frozen dead: corpsicles.

  5. nolanwiffle - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    A sad, pathetic ending to a life well-lived. Ted Williams deserved better.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      you can say that again.

    • stex52 - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Look on the bright side. Ted never knew what happened to him.

      • Old Gator - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Isn’t he sweet? Isn’t he darling? I can’t wait to take him home!

  6. nolanwiffle - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    A sad, pathetic ending to a life well-lived. Ted Williams deserved better.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      you didn’t have to say it again!

      • nolanwiffle - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Ask…..and you shall receive. I’m here to serve the will of the people.

      • Old Gator - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Pinko.

  7. deathmonkey41 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Also, inspiration for one hell of a great Halloween costume…

    http://landtworld.com/images/stories/images/news/tedwilliamscostumecombo01.jpg

  8. bjbeliever - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    “Specifically, on John-Henry Williams’ fascination with cryogenics”

    Cryogenics is the study of how things behave at low temperature. Cryonics is the preservation of humans at low temperature. You should not confuse the two Craig. Although similar ideas, one is a respected area of science and the other is an invention of sci-fi authors will little to no legitimacy to it.

    • Old Gator - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      I dunno. It kept my Aztec chili dog from going bad. No way it could have sat in the right side of the fridge for a whole week.

  9. 12is3times4 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Ted Williams did not deserve this. Being frozen for centuries is a fate that should be reserved exclusively for fictional genetically engineered supermen, and even then only if J.J. Abrams is not involved.

    • Old Gator - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      I dunno. It worked pretty well for Woody Allen in Sleeper.

      Orb, anyone?

      • stex52 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Yes, please pass the Orb. It’s a slow afternoon at work.

      • stex52 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        And thence to the Orgasmatron.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 2, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        Woof, woof. Hello, I’m Rags. Woof, woof.

  10. peopletrains - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    I hope ted is reanimated someday and gives John-Henry an ass-kicking.

  11. anxovies - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Wouldn’t the chemicals they use to preserve Twinkies be cheaper and last longer?

    • stex52 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      This ^^^^^^^^

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