A dead animal killed by Ted Williams is not worth any more than a dead animal killed by me or you.
Red Sox obsession would dictate, that in New England anyway, a dead animal killed by Ted Williams would be a lot more valuable than a dead animal killed by a non-celebrity hunter.
That’s not what happened at yesterday’s estate auction from Dolores Wettach Williams, the third wife of Teddy Ballgame who was a former Miss Vermont and Vogue magazine fashion model.
She was also unhappily married for nearly every moment of her 1967-73 run with Ted, according to Leigh Montville’s fascinating book, “Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero.” Montville claims that Williams only married the fashion model because he had gotten her pregnant.
But back to these insanely low taxidermy prices.
North American decapitated deer have recently sold on eBay from a low of $46 to a high of $3,350. My deer-hunting neighbor, Dave, tells me the 8-point buck head in his living room cost him $450 to stuff.
You mean to tell me that the African buffalo ashtrays that Williams had sent to his Texas Rangers manager office are worth $330 less than Neighbor Dave’s wall trophy? Or comparing heads to heads, that a Williams-slaughtered 8-point buck is worth $160 to Neighbor Dave’s $450?
The cape buffalo killed by Ted sold for $550. Another decapitated African buffalo that hangs in a New York Stock Exchange social club has a $1,200 pricetag. No way those rich stockbrokers have more celebrity value than the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.
Baseball nuts just must not want carcasses hanging next to their Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis posters.
I’m all for hunters who eat the meat, but I’m willing to bet that Ted never had Zebra stew or Kudu casserole. And there’s something excessively smug about these posed “conquest” safari photos that accompanied the auctioned beasts:
Ted kills a Greater Kudu in 1972
Ted kills an African cape buffalo in 1972.
AND ONE MORE LESSON FROM THE MRS. TED WILLIAMS AUCTION…
Dads, pay attention to your kids. If you get lazy about it, consider the case of Ted Williams, who reportedly did not show up to the hospital for the births of son John-Henry and daughter Claudia.
Claudia wound up churning out gloomy-themed oil paintings that focus on death, death, death and death. Her work reminds me of a scene from the brilliant professional wrestling documentary, “Beyond The Mat.” Jake the Snake’s daughter keeps scrawling the word “Hate” in her diary to express anger at her usually absent father.
Most of her paintings went unsold to a snickering audience. And the auctioneers mockingly offered to toss in complimentary cups of hot chocolate to anyone who’d make any bid on her stuff. If I were in Claudia’s shoes, I would rather burn my work than have it subject to this level of ridicule. Lucky for her, she wasn’t present for the bidding.
Here’s a creepy oil painting that didn’t sell despite its pseudo-intellectual title, “A Momentary Lapse of Reason.”
The auction catalogue says it is an example of “modern surrealism” and is inspired by Picasso.
It cautiously avoids the words “depressing,” and “suicidal,” two themes to keep away from your fireplace mantel.
Toward the end of the auction, I couldn’t resist plunking down $11.50 on this beauty, which the auctioneer sneered was a knockoff of a Star Trek alien:
The picture is inspirationally titled, “Portrait of a Woman in Agony.” Hallmark cards will be banging on Claudia’s door any minute.
I have bold philanthropic plans for this painting. It’s either headed for a museum or my office Yankee Swap/ White Elephant party. And only you can decide its fate.
Click here to vote on where “Portrait of a Woman in Agony” will cheer up humanity next.