Gotta keep your head on the ball, or something.
There are few Major League Baseball luminaries more celebrated that Ted Williams. The Splendid Splinter was the last man to hit .400 in a season, stroking at a .406 clip for the Boston Red Sox in 1941.
The famously prickly Hall of Famer and hero of World Ward II and the Korean conflict is considered by many to be the greatest hitter ever and, at least for son John-Henry Williams, was a treasure worth trying to save for all eternity. John-Henry chose to have dear dad cryogenically preserved upon his death at the age of 83 in 2002. Or, more specifically, Ted Williams head.
And that’s where things get weird according to a new book, “Frozen,” according to the New York Daily News:
In Frozen, Larry Johnson, a former exec at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., graphically describes how The Splendid Splinter was beheaded, his head frozen and repeatedly abused. The book, out Tuesday from Vanguard Press, tells how Williams’ corpse became Alcorian A-1949 at the facility, where bodies are kept suspended in liquid nitrogen in case future generations learn how to revive them. Johnson writes that in July 2002, shortly after the Red Sox slugger died at age 83, technicians with no medical certification gleefully photographed and used crude equipment to decapitate the majors’ last .400 hitter. Williams’ severed head was then frozen, and even used for batting practice by a technician trying to dislodge it from a tuna fish can.
John-Henry, who had a brief pro baseball career, including with the Schaumburg Flyers, was a controversial figure before his father died. But the heat really came down him with his 2002 decision to freeze his father without so much as a public funeral. John-Henry himself died of Leukemia in 2004 and was also treated at the Alcor facility as part of the ted Williams agreement.