Williams#039; son should honor father#039;s request

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The fans at Fenway Park are taking a different outlook to the vendors who yell, "Ice cold beer here."

Ice cold is the feeling toward John Henry Williams and the freezing of his famous father, Ted Williams, who died 12 days ago.

Ted Williams. The Splendid Splinter. Teddy Ballgame. The Greatest Hitter of All-Time.

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The "loving" son just wants to make up for lost time. His parents divorced when he was four. He wants to stay as close to his father for as long as he can. Even if it's just his head.

Okay, so he wants his dad's DNA to sell and make money since his company is bankrupt and he's a pathetic loser.

At 33 he's a less-than-average minor league player who knows his days in the game are numbered, especially given his current activities. He was signed as a favor to his famous father. Maybe he wants a little bit more of his dad's DNA for himself since he missed out at conception.

Some people have said that the freezing of Williams' body takes away from his legacy. That's absolutely ridiculous. Williams lived his life and left his mark, not only as a player but as a great war hero. What someone does to him when he's dead is no reflection on Williams.

That reflection is strictly on his son, John Henry, who continues to hide from the public and refuses to comment on his current actions.

Williams loved to fish, so his request to be cremated and ashes scattered in the waters of the Florida Keys is believable and understandable. Even those who don't know Williams would never believe from what they've read that he would ever want to be subjected to cryogenics.

When Williams was alive, John Henry would call each morning wanting to know, "Is dad awake?" then scurry over to have his father sign more memorabilia to be sold.

Sometimes Ted Williams would ask, "Why do I have to do this?" and other times he would get upset and refuse. But eventually, he did what his son asked. His series of strokes and ailments caused Williams to turn over all the decision-making to his son.

Maybe John Henry Williams wants to say the absence of his father during childhood scarred him for life, that he's emotionally unstable. Maybe he thinks his famous father owes him because of his abandonment. Or maybe he can use the real argument: He's a big-time, selfish loser.

(I'm partial to the latter explanation.)

Williams' daughter and John Henry's half-sister, Betty-Jo Ferrell, is fighting for her father's body and dignity. Here's hoping she hits a home run. It'll make up for her brother's errors.

Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune