Inspiration for 'The Natural' dies

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.

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)

FILE - In this June 17, 1949 file photo, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus smiles from his bed in Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago as his father, Stephen, holds up his arm for an attempted wave. Waitkus was shot and seriously wounded June 14 in a Chicago hotel by 19-year-old Ruth Steinhagen. 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)

FILE - In this June 21, 1949 file photo, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus, with help from nurses at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago, takes his first steps since he was shot June 14 in a Chicago hotel by 19-year-old Ruth Steinhagen. Steinhagen died of natural causes at 83 in late December 2012 but her death was not noticed by the media until this week. 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)

FILE - In this June 30, 1949 file photo, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus sits in a wheelchair in felony court in Court during a hearing for Ruth Steinhagen, left, who is alleged to have shot him in a Chicago hotel on June 14, 1949. At the hearing, Steinhagen was judged insane and ordered committed to Kankakee State Hospital. She died of natural causes at 83 in late December 2012 but her death was not noticed by the media until this week. 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)

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 1949 file photo, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus acknowledges the applause of fans at Shibe Park as he stands by gifts showered on him on "Eddie Waitkus Night" in Philadelphia. Waitkus was in uniform for the first time since he was shot, June 14, 1949, in a Chicago hotel by 19-year-old Ruth Steinhagen. 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)

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)

FILE - In this June 16, 1949 file photo, Ruth Steinhagen, 19, is seen at felony court in Chicago where she appeared for her hearing on charges of assault with intent to murder in the shooting of Philadelphia Phillies ball player Eddie Waitkus at a Chicago hotel on June 14, 1949. 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/Charles Knoblock, File)