Hall of Famer's son has started chemotherapy

Updated: October 17, 2003, 4:59 PM ET
Associated Press

INVERNESS, Fla. -- The son of Hall of Famer Ted Williams has been diagnosed with leukemia.

John Henry Williams, 35, was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month, Eric Abel, Williams' attorney, said Thursday.

Abel would not discuss any other aspects of Williams' condition.

John Henry Williams told the Citrus County Chronicle on Thursday that he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia at UCLA Medical Center and that he has already started chemotherapy.

"The whole goal is get the leukemia in remission," Williams told the newspaper from Los Angeles for a story to be published Friday.

Attempts made by The Associated Press to reach Williams were unsuccessful.

After Ted Williams died July 5, 2002, John Henry Williams was at the center of a controversy surrounding his father's remains. Williams had his father's body taken to an Arizona cryonics lab, setting off a battle with his half-sister, who said her father had wanted to be cremated.

The matter was settled in December, when Bobby Jo Ferrell, Ted Williams' oldest daughter, dropped her objections. A telephone call to Bobby Jo Ferrell's home on Thursday evening was not answered.

John Henry Williams' other sister, Claudia Williams, told the newspaper she is in Los Angeles for tests to determine if she is a match for a possible bone marrow transplant.

"It's not good, not good at all, considering his age," Claudia Williams said.

About 10,500 new cases of acute myelogenous leukemia are diagnosed each year in the United States, with remission occurring in 70-80 percent of those patients.

Ted Williams finished with a .344 career average and was the last major league to bat over .400, when he hit .406 in 1941.

John Henry Williams made an attempt over the past two seasons to follow in his father's footsteps, playing for some low-level minor league and independent baseball teams.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press