Mar 18, 2013, 6:35 AM EDT
I imagine few people who watch “The Natural” realize that it was based on a 1952 novel of the same name (and that the novel is way better). And I bet even fewer people realize that the part of the story which kicks off Roy Hobbs’ disappearance into obscurity for so many years — the part in which the woman in black invites Hobbs to her hotel room and shoots him — is based on a true story.
That true story involves the 1949 shooting of Phillies’ first baseman Eddie Waitkus by an obsessed fan. A 19 year-old woman who idolized Waitkus when he played for the Cubs prior to his trade to Philly and decided, when the Phillies came back to Chicago, to kill Waitkus after luring him to her hotel room. She did shoot him, but he thankfully survived and played six more seasons in the bigs. The woman — Ruth Ann Steinhagen — was committed to a mental institution for three years, was released and then faded into obscurity.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday that Steinhagen passed away of natural causes on Dec. 29, at the age of 83. First reported by the Chicago Tribune last week, her identity was a surprise even to the morgue employees who knew about the 1984 movie “The Natural,” in which she was portrayed by actress Barbara Hershey.
“She chose to live in the shadows and she did a good job of it,” John Theodore, an author who wrote a 2002 nonfiction book about the crime, wrote in an email Sunday.
Fascinating story. Stranger than fiction.
May 2, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT
Are those “Keys to the Game” segments getting stale? FOX Sports San Diego put a fresh spin on it.
May 2, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT
More arm issues for Braves lefty Mike Minor.
May 2, 2015, 10:34 PM EDT
Torii Hunter said something dumb again.
May 2, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT
The Astros are good again!
May 2, 2015, 9:35 PM EDT
Nelson Cruz won’t stop hitting home runs.
May 2, 2015, 8:45 PM EDT
A stroke of luck bailed the Giants out in the ninth inning when their bullpen went into meltdown mode.
May 2, 2015, 7:55 PM EDT
One of the best pitchers in baseball history tells us how he’d approach the best player of this generation.
May 2, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT
The Cubs had an unfortunate series of events lead to a little league home run for Brewers outfielder Logan Schafer.
May 2, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT
Catcher Ryan Hanigan figures to be out until the All-Star break, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.
May 2, 2015, 5:29 PM EDT
Billingsley hasn’t pitched in the majors in over two years.
May 2, 2015, 4:46 PM EDT
Ross went just 2-for-22 (.091) with three RBI over nine games during his brief stint with Oakland.
May 2, 2015, 4:14 PM EDT
Albert Pujols missed two days after leaving Wednesday’s game due to left hamstring tightness, but he’s back in the starting lineup today against the Giants. While he’ll return to his standard No. 3 spot, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has made some changes with his lineup.
May 2, 2015, 3:18 PM EDT
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged Saturday that the team won’t pay a $6 million marketing bonus to Alex Rodriguez for tying Willie Mays with 660 career home runs.
May 2, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT
Yelich has been sidelined since April 19 with a bulging disk in his lower back.
May 2, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT
The Rays are hoping that Moore will be ready to return around the middle of June.
May 2, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT
Gomez has been out since April 15 due to a strained right hamstring.
May 2, 2015, 12:03 PM EDT
Wilpon denies the claim that he urged Martinez to pitch hurt in 2005.
May 2, 2015, 11:05 AM EDT
Puig is currently sidelined with a strained left hamstring, but he’s nearing his return to the Dodgers.
May 2, 2015, 10:10 AM EDT
Willie Mays issued a statement to congratulate Alex Rodriguez for tying him on the all-time home run list.
May 2, 2015, 9:35 AM EDT
Another day, another tape-measure blast for Nelson Cruz.
- Torii Hunter doesn’t care what Floyd Mayweather has done outside of the boxing ring 44
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman acknowledges team won’t pay A-Rod $6 million bonus for 660th home run 53
- Willie Mays congratulates Alex Rodriguez for reaching 660 career home runs 30
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 38
- Ryan Hanigan needs surgery, so the Red Sox will call up prospect Blake Swihart 15
- Royals’ bullpen blows no-hit bid in the eighth inning against the Tigers 7
- Alex Rodriguez hits a pinch-hit home run to tie Willie Mays at 660 home runs 93
- Video: Remembering Rickey Henderson’s record-setting stolen base 31
- Pitchers batting is dumb and the DH should be universal (362)
- Comment of the Day: do not underestimate the seriousness of the anti-DH crowd (201)
- Monday’s White Sox/Orioles game postponed due to ongoing protests and violence in Baltimore (162)
- Protesters converge on Oriole Park at Camden Yards (149)
- The Orioles will play to no fans tomorrow; this weekend’s series will move to Tropicana Field (125)