The family of the late Ted Williams is feuding over whether to cremate him or freeze him.
Barbara Joyce (Bobby Jo) Williams Ferrell, Williams' 53-year-old daughter, accused John Henry Williams, his 33-year-old son, of flying their late father's body from a Florida funeral home to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit cryonics company in Scottsdale, Ariz., over the weekend.
Alcor freezes bodies using liquid nitrogen for $120,000 US plus a $150 US application fee and $398 US in annual dues.
When asked about Williams, Alcor marketing director Karla Steen stated: "Whether or not an individual is a patient or client, Alcor has a long-standing policy of confidentiality and does not discuss their identities."
Ferrell alleged her half-brother wanted to preserve their famous father's body so he could profit from future cloning or by selling off DNA.
"I will rescue my father's body," she vowed. "Me and my attorney are working on that."
John Heer, Ferrell's lawyer, confirmed Monday that Al Cassidy, the executor of the estate, would file Williams' will to a Florida court later this week.
It will be left to a judge to resolve the dispute.
"My dad's in a metal tube, on his head, so frozen that if I touched him it would crack him because of the warmth from my fingertips," Ferrell said. "It makes me so sick."
Mark Ferrell, Bobby Jo's husband, said John Henry told him: "It would be really interesting to sell dad's DNA, so there could be lots of little Ted Williamses running around. I said, 'Are you sick, are you really that sick?'
"I can't tell you how angry I was and still am at him."
Williams, recognized as baseball's purest hitter ever, died of cardiac arrest on July 5.
He was 83.
"It's sad to hear about all this," exclaimed Bobby Doerr, Williams' longtime friend and Boston Red Sox teammate.
"It takes away from Ted's dignity."
"I hate to see this happening," lamented Johnny Pesky, another friend and former teammate.
"He was a great baseball player and a war hero. He just doesn't deserve this.
"I just hope there are no repercussions and bad feelings in the family. Ted wanted to be cremated.
"He was an atheist. He didn't believe in religion."
George Carter, a certified nursing assistant who tended to Williams for 10 years, corroborated Pesky's claim.
"I knew Ted Williams like a book," Carter said. "He wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread over the Florida Keys.
"He told me that many times. I would bet my life he wouldn't approve of this."
Pam Price and Bill Boyles, lawyers for the estate, supposedly told Heer that Williams asked to be cremated and strewn across the Keys, where he was an avid angler.
"All versions were consistent that he wanted to be cremated and his ashes would have been spread over the Florida Keys," Heer said.
Williams requested no funeral service, though baseball memorials are scheduled for Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game at Miller Park and on July 22 at Fenway Park.
"He once said he wanted to be cremated and buried next to Slugger (his Dalmation)," Doerr recalled. "He just loved that dog.
"That's the way Ted was. He wouldn't have wanted any fancy stuff, no funeral or anything."
"It's a terrible thing when a man like Ted dies, but when your time comes everyone has to accept it," Pesky added. "Ted lived a long life.
"He did everything a man could do. I hope everyone will just let him rest in peace and remember him for the way he was."
Williams was considered the most natural hitter in baseball history.
Nicknamed the "Splendid Splinter," he batted .344 with 521 home runs and 1,839 runs batted in despite losing two years with injuries and dedicating five more to military service.
Williams flew combat missions for the U.S. Marines in the Second World War and Korean War.
Some suggest his war record, which included flying as wingman for astronaut-turned-senator John Glenn, warrants burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
"Nobody in the family has talked about that," Pesky admitted. "But that would be wonderful."