Daughter asks slugger's friends to take sidesBy THOMAS C. TOBIN, ALEX LEARY and CARRIE JOHNSON
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 11, 2002
The oldest daughter of Ted Williams is calling on President Bush and his father, the former president, to help remove the slugger's body from a cryonics facility.
In a statement Wednesday, Barbara Joyce "Bobby-Jo" Williams Ferrell criticized her half brother's "insane plan" to preserve their father's body at Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz. Ferrell also called on John Glenn, the former astronaut and U.S. senator, to "come to his friend's aid."
Glenn and Ted Williams flew missions together during the Korean conflict. The deceased Hall of Famer also was a friend of George Bush, the former president. Bush and Williams spent time sport fishing, golfing and flying on Air Force One, and Williams campaigned for Bush.
Ted Williams died Friday at age 83 at Citrus Memorial Hospital. Ferrell has alleged his body was shipped to Alcor at the request of her half brother, John-Henry Williams. She has said their father wished to be cremated, not frozen.
Ferrell's husband, Mark, said Wednesday that Richard "Spike" Fitzpatrick, a Citrus County lawyer, had been enlisted to help with the effort.
"John Glenn appreciated my daddy's being his wingman," Ferrell's statement said. "I want John Glenn to come forward now, and this time, come to his friend's aid."
To President Bush and his father, she said they "need to come forward and work in this campaign, for your old friend -- like he worked for you."
The dispute is expected to head into court this week when Williams' will is filed.
Is that autograph authentic?
Have a ball or picture you believe is autographed by the late Ted Williams, but aren't sure because you didn't see him sign it yourself? The slugger's official site, tedwilliams.com, is not in operation this week as a tribute after his death last week, but a page on the site offered an authentication service for uncertified autographs.
The site is run by the Ted Williams Family Enterprises Ltd., based in Hernando.
According to James Spence Jr., an autograph expert who also provides authentication through a Web site, it's difficult for collectors to verify a signature as legitimate on their own.
"I don't think there is any way to self-authenticate it," Spence said. "There are so many forgers who have mastered their craft, and Williams is one of the five most submitted entries we have here."
Spence notes differences between Williams' signature before and after a stroke in 1994. "There's a more jagged stroke he used after, and it doesn't have the same conviction or speed," Spence said. "The letters are more square. But the flow is still there, the style remains."
-- GREG AUMAN
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