The American League Division Series between the Red Sox and Angels is not only the battle of Boston vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim, of East Coast vs. Left Coast, of Beantown vs. Beanertown.
It is also an epic war being waged between the cryogenically frozen heads of each town's most iconic undead: Ted Williams and Walt Disney.
The official story is Disney collapsed in his home and later died in a hospital on Dec. 15, 1966, before being cremated two days later and having his ashes interred at Forest Lawn in Glendale. Toadies for Walt (TFW's in Disneyspeak) brand as urban legend talk that ol' Walt--and especially his head--was cryogenically frozen.
Those deep deep deep undercover insist Disney was not only iced, but that he remains in cold storage deep deep deep under Pirates of the Caribbean. Naysaying TFW's will say with all the nay they can muster that the first corpse ever purposely frozen was frozed in January 1967, so Walt could not possibly be Mr. Freeze.
But keep in mind that TFW's would also have you believe mice can captain steamboats, dogs (or whatever the hell Goofy is) can drive cars, elephants, English nannies and the Murder, She Wrote chick can fly, it's a small world after all and that Anaheim is the happiest place on Earth.
Friends, anyplace that borders Stanton cannot possibly be the happiest place on Earth.
If Disney's noggin was indeed the first one frozen, that gives him . . . well . . . not a leg up on the last major leaguer to hit over .400, but certainly an edge by an Eskimo nose.
Sickly, Walt's not the only one having his way with Williams, according to Frozen (Vanguard Press), a new book out today that chronicles the treatment of the late Red Sox slugger's remains by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation facility in Arizona.
Author and former Alcor executive Larry Johnson writes that in July 2002, shortly after Williams died at age 83, technicians with no medical certification merrily photographed and used crude equipment to decapitate the former Red Sox.
Johnson claims holes were drilled in Williams' severed head so microphones could be inserted and Alcor employees could listen as nitrogen was pumped inside and the baseball legend's brain cracked 16 times as temperatures dropped to -321 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the author's account, Ted's head was balanced on an empty can of Bumble Bee tuna to keep it from sticking to the bottom of its case. But once frozen, what was left of the former Mr. Williams apparently stuck to the tuna can, so a technician used a stick to try to dislodge it and then with a monkey wrench took some wild swings at the remains of Boston's best swinger. When the tech finally made contact, "tiny pieces of frozen head" spread around the room.
The Williams estate apparently paid $120,000 for Williams' body to be "suspended," according to the WithLeather sports blog, whose Frozen report includes some naysaying as well. A commenter identifying himself as an "Alcor Foundation client" accuses Johnson of trying to make money, noting that the author is scheduled to appear on tonight's Nightline to hype his book. "The people that work at the facility are extremely dedicated and professional," he writes.
Also included is an official denial of "the outrageous allegations" from the Alcor Foundation.
"Larry Johnson, the ex Alcor staff member who made these allegations, was not employed at Alcor when Williams was cryopreserved," states Alcor executive director Jennifer Chapman. "Johnson's previous attempts to profit from sensational and unfounded allegations against Alcor recently resulted in a court order prohibiting him from making further statements about Alcor."
She adds that the foundation "is actively pursuing litigation regarding these allegations."
Unlike the Mouseketeers, Chapman is not denying the warehousing of a frozen Ted Williams. If it endured even a small fraction of the abuse Johnson describes, and given that the company that bears Walt Disney's name owned the Angels during the franchise's lone world championship, it can mean only one thing for the American League Division Series.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Halos in 4.
* * *
More 2009 Postseason Throwdown action can be found for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers: http://blogs.laweekly.com/ladaily/sports/
New York Yankees: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/baseball/
St. Louis Cardinals: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/baseball/
Colorado Rockies: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/baseball/