Inspiration for 'The Natural' dies

Associated Press
FILE - In this June 18, 1949 file photo, Ruth Steinhagen, 19, held in the shooting of Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus at a Chicago hotel on June 14, 1949, writes notes for her life history in Cook County Jail in Chicago. At the table she has a photograph of Waitkus taken June 17 in the hospital where he was recovering from a bullet wound. Steinhagen died of natural causes at 83 in late December 2012. Her death is the final chapter in one of the most sensational and bizarre criminal cases in Chicago history that made headlines around the country. She was the inspiration for Bernard Malamud’s novel “The Natural” and the 1984 movie starring Robert Redford. (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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