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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    IL - Obsessed fan who shot Cubs star, inspired book & film 'The Natural,' dead at 83

    Obsessed fan who shot player, inspired movie, dies (AP)
    CHICAGO — Ruth Ann Steinhagen inspired a novel and a movie starring Robert Redford when in 1949 she lured a major league ballplayer she'd never met into a hotel room with a cryptic note and shot him, nearly killing him.
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    The story, with its elements of obsession, mystery, insanity and a baseball star, made it part of both Chicago's colorful crime history and rich baseball lore.

    The story began with what appeared to be just another young woman's crush on Eddie Waitkus, the Chicago Cubs' handsome first baseman. So complete was this crush that the teenager set a place for Waitkus, whom she'd never met, at the family dinner table. She turned her bedroom into a shrine to him, and put his photo under her pillow.

    After the 1948 season, Waitkus was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies — a fateful turn. "When he went to the Phillies, that's when she decided to kill him," Theodore said in an interview.

    Steinhagen had her chance the next season, when the Phillies came to Chicago to play the Cubs at Wrigley Field. She checked into a room at the Edgewater Beach Hotel where he was staying and invited him to her room.
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    It worked. Waitkus arrived at her room. After he sat down, Steinhagen walked to a closet, said, "I have a surprise for you," then turned with the rifle she had hidden there and shot him in the chest. Theodore wrote that she then knelt by his side and held his hand on her lap. She told a psychiatrist afterward about how she had dreamed of killing him and found it strange that she was now "holding him in my arms."
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    the rest - lengthy article - with a picture of Ms. Steinhagen behind bars, at link above

  2. #2
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    Ruth Ann Steinhagen, 83, dies; shot ballplayer who inspired ‘The Natural’ (Washington Post)
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    “Here’s a 19-year-old girl, living by herself in a tiny apartment on Lincoln Avenue, in 1949,” author John 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.”
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    more, with another - haunting - picture, at link

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
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    Oddly, Ruth Ann isn't the only girl who shot a Cubs player.

    Here is another one from 1932:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...pg=2608,133904

    I also heard a girl shot a player from the stands, but can't find any news info to support she was in the stands when she shot the player.

    Scary.
    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


    Long Lost Love - Discovery ID - Disappeared - Bob Harrod Case

    You can now purchase Mr. Harrod's Disappeared episode through Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Yes, forgot all about Billy Jurges. He and Waitkus played on the same Cubs teams in 1946 and 1947.

    The Shootings of Billy Jurges and Eddie Waitkus (jackbales.com)

    ETA

    Better link as it contains Bales's update on his excellent story: http://wrigleyivy.com/the-shootings-...eddie-waitkus/
    Last edited by wfgodot; 03-17-2013 at 07:01 PM.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    dillon
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    For some reason, The Natural was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. My Dad had a VHS copy of it and I must have watched it 30 times. I didn't know there were two books about it, and the 'real' story sounds more interesting than the movie. Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to read more about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    4,278
    Quote Originally Posted by Cubby View Post
    Oddly, Ruth Ann isn't the only girl who shot a Cubs player.

    Here is another one from 1932:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...pg=2608,133904

    I also heard a girl shot a player from the stands, but can't find any news info to support she was in the stands when she shot the player.

    Scary.
    Sroll up on that page for a story about Reynolds tobacco heir committing suicide.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2009
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    My friend the Cubs fan didn't seem too enthused that the possible end of "The Curse of Steinhagen" would lead Cubbies to World Series this season.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    My friend the Cubs fan didn't seem too enthused that the possible end of "The Curse of Steinhagen" would lead Cubbies to World Series this season.

    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


    Long Lost Love - Discovery ID - Disappeared - Bob Harrod Case

    You can now purchase Mr. Harrod's Disappeared episode through Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.



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