Claudia Franc Williams, Daughter of Red Sox Legend Ted Williams, Dies at 52

Red Sox President Sam Kennedy called her "a cherished member of the Red Sox family" in a statement

<p>Jared Wickerham/Getty</p> Claudia Williams

Jared Wickerham/Getty

Claudia Williams

Claudia Franc Williams, the daughter of Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams, has died. She was 52.

A press release from Major League Baseball published on Tuesday, July 10, states that Claudia died in December 2023. Her family requested to "mourn privately" before "sharing the news with the public," per a statement from Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy.

Claudia was the only remaining immediate family member of the Hall of Famer. She had a brother, John Henry Williams, who died in 2004.

Kennedy continued to call Claudia, "a cherished member of the Red Sox family, known for her deep dedication to preserving her father’s legacy, and all of us feel a responsibility to carry on her mission in her absence."

The Red Sox President added that Claudia "will be profoundly missed by all of us at the Red Sox and all who knew her."

<p>Jared Wickerham/Getty</p> Claudia Williams

Jared Wickerham/Getty

Claudia Williams

The press release included an elegy from Claudia's husband Eric Abel, in which he referred to his wife of 17 years as “a beacon of love, always the best at showing me love,” per The Boston Globe.

He praised his late wife for her work as a nurse practitioner, stating, "Although your dad certainly encouraged and insisted you to contribute to society, you went above and beyond. Your decision to work in healthcare was a calling."

Abel continued to call Claudia "an amazing advocate" for her patients. With a heart so open and giving, you showed so many the true meaning of compassion."

Claudia’s father, nicknamed Teddy Ballgame and The Kid, played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960. He was primarily a left fielder. Over his career, he won many MVP awards, two Triple Crowns, six American League batting championships, was selected to 18 All-Star Games and finished his career with 521 home runs and a .400 average, according to The National Baseball Hall of Fame.

He retired from the sport in 1960 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.

Upon the baseball player’s death in 2002, his remains were frozen cryonically. The procedure was approved by Claudia and her brother, per CBS News.

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In 2015, the loving daughter published a book about her father called Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir. The work featured "never-before-told anecdotes about his life on and off the field that reveal the flesh and blood man behind ‘The Kid,' " according to a synopsis.

She spoke with The Boston Globe in a 2014 interview about the book, saying,  "I wrote this [book] to set my family’s story straight and to defend two heroes in my life: my father and my brother, John-Henry. The thing I most want people to know about my father is that he was an extremely enthusiastic, complex, and wonderful ‘Kid’ to have as a father."

She further addressed her father’s controversial resting choice, saying, "What most people misunderstood about cryonics and my family is that it’s not something that we have any intention of profiting from and that it should have been private. Nobody should ever know or have the right to know what a family chooses to do with loved ones after they die."

In 2021, Claudia spoke with Associated Press about releasing an NFT collection with her father’s likeness. "My life’s goal is to keep my dad as relevant and inspirational as ever,” she told the outlet. “I want to leave his legacy behind when his last surviving child is gone."

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