THE BLOG
12/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Quick! Ted Williams Is Defrosting!

I'm having kind of a tough day today, so I particularly appreciated the following breaking story, provided by my local paper, The New York Daily News, to wit:

In "Frozen," Larry Johnson, a former executive at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., writes that Williams' head, which had been severed and frozen for storage, was abused at the facility. Johnson claims a technician took baseball-like swings at Williams' frozen head with a monkey wrench. Williams, the last player to hit over .400 in a season, died in 2002 at age 83 and had his remains sent to Alcor for cryogenic storage in the hope that future generations would develop the technology to revive him.

Since I'm interested in the whole concept of cryogenics, I have certain questions:

  1. Was the "batting practice" with Ted Williams' head a subtle homage to the greatest hitter in the history of baseball?
  2. I have always thought that cryogenic freezing was a whole-body thing. Why just the head? Why not the feet and, especially in Mr. Williams' case, the upper arms, which were so wonderfully developed?
  3. What method of "revival" were they contemplating? Is future quality of life considered?
  4. What would somebody do with just his head? Would he want the rest of his body to at least exist, let alone function to some extent?
  5. In the future, will there be a lot of people with just a head? How will they get around? Will they have Bluetooth?
  6. Come to think of it, is it even possible to function with just a head? Although it's been attempted by some academics at the University of Chicago, I have heard that such efforts were relatively unsuccessful, particularly in social situations.
  7. How far would a human head travel if it was impacted by a monkey wrench? Was the head in motion, travelling at 90 miles per hour? Who threw it? In what manner? A sinker? A fastball down the middle?
  8. Does the Williams family have a case against Alcor for mistreatment of a head that has been dead for seven years? Would the head have to be revived in order to testify?

I'm sure there are other interesting aspects of the situation that will develop. Right now, I'm beginning to make some inquiries on all of these. Enquiring heads want to know, y'know.