Monday, March 18, 2013

To Absent Friends: Ruth Ann Steinhagen

Old baseball fans will know the name of Ruth Ann Steinhagen, who, as a 19 year old obsessed baseball fan (groupie?) lured Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus to her hotel room and shot him in the chest with a rifle.  Waitkus survived, Steinhagen was committed to a mental hospital, and the incident served as inspiration for Bernard Malamud's novel, "The Natural".  Upon her release from the institution in 1952, Waitkus declined to press charges, and the incident was pretty much forgotten, except by baseball trivia buffs.

Turns out that Steinhagen died of natural causes at the age of 83 this past December, and her death only became known in the past week or so.  She lived the past sixty years in relative obscurity, and not much was known of her life in that time, according to the obituary in today's Post-Gazette.  One can only presume that she was rehabilitated and lived a happy and purposeful life, and if that is the case, good for her.

I wonder if she still went to any ball games?

RIP Ruth Ann Steinhagen.

1 comment:

  1. I read an article that said she very much kept to herself. She worked in an office for 35 years and wouldn't even tell her neighbors where she worked. Sounds like she still had demons.