Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Ted Williams' Frozen Head Used as Batting Practice?

Disturbing story this week from Nathaniel Vinton of the New York Daily News about what's allegedly been going on with the frozen head of Ted Williams, who upon dying in 2002 of cardiac arrest had his head, but not rest of his body, frozen in hopes that one day science will be able to bring him back to life. Vinton's story is excerpted below.
* * *

Workers at an Arizona cryonics facility mutilated the frozen head of baseball legend Ted Williams - even using it for a bizarre batting practice, a new tell-all book claims.

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.

* * *

The book describes other atrocities at Alcor's facility in Arizona, including the dismembering of live dogs that were injected with chemicals in experiments, and a situation in which human blood and toxic chemicals were dumped into a parking lot sewer drain.

* * *
In fairness to Alcor, the company vehemently denies Johnson's allegations, which have no doubt generated a great deal of interest in Johnson's soon-to-be-released book.

Assuming, however, that Johnson is telling the truth, Alcor and its staff might be in some trouble. Although commentators have written that cyronics--the preservation of legally dead humans or pets at very low temperatures (about -200 degrees Fahrenheit)--is largely unregulated, it's a crime in Arizona to intentionally mutilate a corpse. Then again, and not to be glib, I'm not sure if a frozen head, particularly when detached from the body, counts as a corpse. Tort law may also provide a remedy through intentional infliction of emotional distress, which has been used for recovery of wrongful treatment of corpses.

It's unclear if Major League Baseball or the Major League Baseball Players' Association will weigh on the topic, though presumably they have some stake in preserving the dignity of Williams and his body.


That is kind of wierd. Would you get your head frozen?

Blogger The Griffin -- 10/04/2009 8:59 PM  

there should be contractual claims as well

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/05/2009 2:24 AM  

I think you're in error when reporting that only Williams' head was cryogenically frozen and stored at Alcor. According to Ethic Soup blog, Ted Williams' body has been stored in a 10-foot-tall, stainless steel container at Alcor. His head was reportedly being stored in a separate container. The Ethic Soup post on the subject is good:

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/05/2009 12:23 PM  

Hello,,, can we do link exchange with my blog..??

Anonymous Nababan -- 10/06/2009 4:09 PM  

I really wanna join a weird club like racing but don't really know how to go about it. Any ideas? I've heard of Any others. JB

Blogger john -- 10/07/2009 4:22 AM  

mind that a lot of people are in. The sense of wanting to help, but not knowing how or where, is something a lot of us are going through. Please come visit my site Dallas Business Directory when you got time.

Blogger poll -- 10/07/2009 11:38 PM  

that your great job is clearly identifed. I was wondering if you offer any subscription to your RSS feeds as I would be very interested and can’t find any link to subscribe here. Please come visit my site San Jose Yellow Page Business Directory when you got time.

Blogger poll -- 10/07/2009 11:39 PM  

Maybe even more bizarre. Buzz Hamon, Ted's closest friend prior to his death, was working to get Alcor shut down and Ted laid to rest pursuant to his final wishes. He even snuck into Alcor and saw how the facility was being improperly run. During his fight and shortly after his access to the facility, Mr. Hamon "committed suicide" at his home in Greenville. A suicide his family and close friends are still very skeptical of to this day.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/08/2009 11:18 AM  

I found your site on google, great site, keep it up. Will return in the future. Submitted this post to Google News Reader. Please come visit my site Detroit Web Link when you got time.

Blogger rr8004 -- 10/18/2009 12:04 AM  

I found your site on google, great site, keep it up. Will return in the future. Submitted this post to Google News Reader. Please come visit my site Michigan MI Phone Directory when you got time.

Blogger rr8004 -- 10/18/2009 12:04 AM  

Post a Comment