When I posted the story of the 1949 shooting of Phillies Whiz Kid Eddie Waitkus here on August 6, 2010, the woman who shot him, Ruth Ann Steinhagen, was thought to be still living. At the time of the shooting, she was declared insane and was released from a mental hospital only three years later. She could have been tried then for the crime, but Waitkus had moved on with his life and did not want her prosecuted. She lived in obscurity ever since. Waitkus died in 1972 at the early age of 53 from esophageal cancer.
The movie, “The Natural,” starring Robert Redford, was loosely based on the Waitkus shooting.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office recently confirmed she died the past December 29th in Chicago at the age of 83, closing the final chapter of the story.