You just didn't suspect the Ted Williams saga to be quite so gruesome and tacky and thoroughly unbecoming of the man.
All he wanted was a simple departure from this earth and for his remains to be cremated and scattered over the deep waters of the Florida Keys. Instead, his wacky children had him frozen and his head was cut off.
It turned a war hero and one of baseball's greatest hitters into a national punch line, which was bad enough. And now this.
A book comes out next week detailing how workers at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation abused Williams' remains. They posed for pictures in a real-life Weekend at Bernie's takeoff. They used crude equipment to cut off Williams head, and then froze it in minus-312 degree liquid nitrogen.
They recorded the sound of his brain cracking 16 times as the temperature dropped. The head was balanced on an empty can of Bumble Bee tuna to keep it from sticking to the bottom of its case.
A worker later removed it and tried to dislodge the tuna can by swinging at it with a monkey wrench. After missing the can a few times, he smacked Williams' head, sending tiny pieces of frozen tissue around the room.
We'll pause now to let you finish recoiling.
If this weren't so sick, it'd be funny. We could joke how they could never do this to Barry Bonds because his head would never fit on a tuna can.
But even an anti-hero deserves some dignity in death. Williams deserved a state funeral for flying 39 combat missions over Korea.
Can you imagine one of today's baseball prima donnas taking five years out of his prime to battle the Taliban in Afghanistan? They can't even bat .400, which Williams famously did in 1941.
"If I was being paid $30,000 a year, the very least I could do was hit .400," he said.
Imagine one of today's players saying that.
Williams eventually retired to Florida and became one of the world's best fishermen. His legacy was the Ted Williams Museum, built in the remote rolling hills around Lecanto.
It was great place to live and fish, but not a lot of people visited. I remember making the 90-minute drive from Orlando once and being the only non-employee in the building. The curator said Williams would occasionally pop in on his golf cart, but the closest I came to him was the statue sitting on a bench out front.
Those were his declining days, when stories routinely surfaced about family squabbles and how son John Henry was manipulating his father. You didn't know whether to believe he made Williams sit for hours autographing memorabilia for sale. When he died in 2002, bizarreness really set in.
Had Williams agreed to the whole cryogenics crock?
John Henry and one daughter said yes, and they had a motor-oil stained scrap of paper signed by "Ted Williams" to prove it. Another daughter said no, and pointed out that Williams always signed official documents "Theodore S. Williams."
They fought a legal battle until the money ran out.
"We're going to leave it in God's hands now," the son-in-law said.
The book, Frozen, was written by Larry Johnson. He's a former executive at Alcor who claims to have the documents and tape recording to back up every allegation. It's not just about Williams. It details Alcor's overall operation in Arizona.
If you believe in preserving the dead in hopes future scientific advance will restore them, fine. All I know is I wouldn't want to send an ice sculpture of my worst enemy to Alcor.
Sadly, patient No. 1949 is still there. His body suspended upside-down in one tank. His head, or what's apparently left of it, sits in a frozen canister.
If only somehow the Alcor vision would work. I'd pay Yankees box-seat money to see Williams come back to life, grab a bat and take a few cuts at the guy with monkey wrench.
Since that'll never happen, all we can hope is this latest sad twist leads to a final one. Somebody needs to get Williams' remains, have them cremated and spread them over the Florida waters he loved.
Think about all he accomplished in life and all he's endured in death. If anybody deserves to finally rest in peace, it's Teddy Ballgame.