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Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Sunday, March 17, 2013
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.
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