Inspiration for 'The Natural' dies

Associated Press
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 1950 file photo, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus, right, shows scars resulting from an operation following his shooting in Chicago in 1949, to his roommate, outfielder Bill Nicholson, on a beach in Clearwater, Fla. Waitkus was working his way back into condition at the team's spring training camp in Clearwater. Waitkus had been shot by 19-year-old Ruth Steinhagen at a hotel in one of the most sensational and bizarre criminal cases in Chicago history that made headlines around the country. Steinhagen died of natural causes at 83 in late December 2012. She was the inspiration for Bernard Malamud’s novel “The Natural” and the 1984 movie starring Robert Redford, a mysterious woman who lured a major league ballplayer she'd never met into a hotel room with a cryptic note and shot him. (AP Photo/File)

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Ruth Ann Steinhagen, who inspired the movie, "The Natural," died on December 29, 2012 at the age of 83. Steinhagen shot and nearly killed Eddie Waitkus, star first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies, on June 14, 1949 in one of the first instances of what later became known as stalker crimes.

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