A swing and a miss in Ted Williams tribute

In his last game with the Red Sox on Sept. 28, 1960, Hall of Famer Ted Williams homered in his final at-bat. In his last game with the Red Sox on Sept. 28, 1960, Hall of Famer Ted Williams homered in his final at-bat. (Baseball Hall of Fame)
October 14, 2010

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ON THE 50th anniversary of my father Ted Williams’s last at-bat, many articles were written by sportswriters. The articles remembered moments of his career, his military service, and his many acts of kindness, especially for the Jimmy Fund. My father was the most principled man you could imagine. He was also a sensitive human being — he really could hear the single boo among a ballpark of cheers. Every day, I miss my dad and my brother, John-Henry, who died of leukemia in 2004.

On Sept. 29, in his column “Splendid memories of a genuine giant,’’ Dan Shaughnessy also described many great moments. However, in a cruel aside, Shaughnesssy wrote that today my father is “sometimes a punch line because of his son’s kooky decision to have his remains frozen.’’ My dad personally supported Shaughnessy at a dark moment in his life. John-Henry trusted Shaughnessy and provided him with firsthand information to help him write privileged stories. Neither Dad nor my brother critically judged Shaughnessy’s personal decisions. They just gave support.

I wonder why a Boston writer, especially Shaughnessy, is the one without regard for my family. He continues to use his cloak of freedom of the press to criticize my family, and use cruel and hurtful words to describe our private and sacred family decision. My friends tell me that the line “meant nothing.’’ But it does mean something to me, and it should mean something to Shaughnessy and every family that values the sanctuary of privacy.

Show respect to my father and our family by respecting our right to make certain private decisions. Enough is enough. Please leave my family in peace.

As clearly as my father, I heard Shaughnessy’s boo.

Claudia Williams
Hernando, Fla.

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