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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chicago woman was real-life stalker from ‘The Natural’

She lived for a dream that wouldn’t die. Ruth Ann Steinhagen, dies at 83.

The Chicago woman whose near-fatal 1949 shooting of former Cubs first baseman Eddie Waitkus inspired the book and movie “The Natural” died with the same anonymity with which she lived for more than half a century.

The 19-year-old’s crime, which put a spotlight on stalking crimes, nearly killed Waitkus, 29, and temporarily sidetracked his career. The incident also helped to draw attention to “baseball Annies” — young, hero-worshipping groupies who would pursue major league ballplayers, often relentlessly.

However, from the time that Ruth Ann Steinhagen left Kankakee State Hospital in 1952 after undergoing nearly three years of psychiatric treatment, she disappeared into near obscurity — so much so that one of her final next-door neighbors said he lived there for more than 15 years before learning her history.

Steinhagen, who never spoke publicly about the Waitkus incident after her release from the hospital, spent much of her final 42 years living in a modest house on the Northwest Side with her parents and sister.

She died Dec. 29 at Swedish Covenant Hospital of a subdural hematoma caused by an accidental fall in her longtime home, a Cook County medical examiner spokeswoman said. She was 83.

Her death had gone unreported and was only discovered when the Tribune was searching death records for another story.

Repoz Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:17 AM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, history

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   101. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4390084)
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters--I also think highly of. I like that Salinger set himself a task that restricted him in time and space. It takes place mostly in a car, all in real time, is entirely from the point of view of Buddy Glass, first-person narrative, and the narrative doesn't attempt to presume what people are thinking or feeling, except as they express it. It's very much dialogue driven. Reminds me of Hitchcock--Hitchcock in Lifeboat and Rope. A closet drama quality about it.

Zooey expands on this approach, beginning with the first-person introduction by Buddy--his description of Zooey's handsomeness, quoting the older Glass sister to the effect that Zooey looked like "the blue-eyed Jewish-Irish Mohican scout who died in your arms at Monte Carlo" is alone worth the price of admission. Its companion piece, Seymour--An Introduction is almost the polar opposite in its narrative technique. It is all Buddy Glass's interior monologue, his dark night of the soul, and where Roof Beam was laconic, terse, and more than a little arch, Seymour is high-flown, even flowery, definitely over the top.
   102. Greg K Posted: March 17, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4390086)
To move into contemporary classics: David Brent, Malcolm Tucker...Ronald McDonald and Dennis Reynolds probably apply, but Charlie Kelly is all too likeable. Michael Bluth has his flaws, but I think is a generally rooted-for guy. Michael Scott is an interesting one, as unlike Brent you're actually sympathetic to him sometimes...but in that genre Andy Millman probably takes the cake.
   103. Zach Posted: March 18, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4390719)
he's a spoilt, rich, tiresome teenager who really REALLY could use some parents. i mean the kind who actually TALK to their kid instead of leaving him to sink. any mother whose son is 16 damm well knows that when any male says something like - i'm good, i'm fine, no problem - when his arm, head or heart is broke - you just ignore that stuff and take care of your kid (same goes for adult males)

But he doesn't have parents like that. He doesn't have anyone to turn to, and you're right, he's sinking.

The thing about Holden Caulfield is that he's freaking out. He doesn't have anyone to turn to, and every time he tries to make a connection, he fails. But he doesn't realize he's freaking out. He makes such a big deal about protecting his little sister because he wants somebody to protect him.
   104. Morty Causa Posted: March 21, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4393392)
Nice post.

Yes, it's remarkable how some get off of slapping 16-year old boys about.
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