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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ruth Ann Steinhagen, 83, dies; shot ballplayer who inspired ‘The Natural’

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

The shooting, thought to be one of the first-ever stalker crimes, nearly killed Waitkus and temporarily sidetracked his career. The incident also helped draw attention to “baseball Annies” — young, hero-worshiping female groupies who would pursue major league ballplayers, often relentlessly….

“Here’s a 19-year-old girl, living by herself in a tiny apartment on Lincoln Avenue, in 1949,” Theodore said via e-mail. “She builds an Eddie Waitkus shrine in her apartment: photos, newspaper clippings, 50 ticket stubs, scorecards. She knows he’s from Boston so she develops a craving for baked beans. . . . He’s Lithuanian, so she teaches herself the language and listens to Lithuanian radio programs.”...

That shrine should be in the Hall of Fame.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. John Northey Posted: March 17, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4389963)
Odd that no one chased her down for her life story or to make a movie out of her. First well known stalker, nearly kills a guy, recovers and lives a quiet life after undergoing various therapies that would be looked down on now by many like electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock). Just seems odd in an era of celebrity that no one has made a 'real life' movie about her (that I know of).
   2. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4390002)
Never saw her prey.

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