CHICAGO -- A woman whose shooting of a Cubs baseball player in 1949 inspired a book and the movie "The Natural" has died.
Ruth Ann Steinhagen died of natural causes at 83 in late December in Chicago. She had lived more than half a century in obscurity. Her passing was not noticed by the media until three months later.
But in 1949, she made headlines around the country. On June 14 of that year, she lured major league baseball player Eddie Waitkus into a hotel room with a note, then shot him, nearly killing him.
She was declared insane and spent about 2 1/2 years in a mental hospital before she was freed. She quietly lived the rest of her life in Chicago.
Bernard Malamud's 1952 novel, very loosely based on the incident, focuses on the fictional Roy Hobbs 16 years after a shooting derailed his career. The 1984 movie starred Robert Redford as Hobbs and Barbara Hershey as shooter Harriet Bird.