The Sports Archives History Lesson – Baseball’s “The Natural”

We all remember the movie “The Natural” with Robert Redford portraying Roy Hobbs, the fictional baseball player who played for a team called the New York Knights.

Did you ever wonder if there was any truth in the novel by Bernard Malamud? The story was loosely based on the life of Eddie Waitkus who played for the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies. He was known at the time as a member of the Phillies’ “Whiz Kids”.

Roy Hobbs in “The Natural” was shot by an obsessed fan but returns to play and lead the Knights. Eddie Waitkus was also shot by an obsessed fan, Ruth Steinhagen, who is quoted as saying “For two years you have been bothering me and now you are going to die.”

Waitkus did not die and was named Comeback Player of the Year helping to lead the Phillies to the pennant.  Waitkus, did however, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the shooting, which impacted his career and his marriage.

Eddie Waitkus

Ruth Steinhagen

Ruth Steinhagen - woman who shot Eddie Waitkus

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Sports Archives History Lesson – Baseball’s “The Natural”

  1. Pingback: The Sports Archives – Where to Find Your Favorite Teams for Spring Training! | The Sports Archives Blog

  2. Pingback: The Sports Archives – ‘Three Strikes; You’re Out!’ – How Baseball Got Started! | The Sports Archives Blog

  3. Pingback: The Sports Archives – When1913 Umpire Bill Klem Had Last Word! | The Sports Archives Blog

  4. Pingback: The Sports Archives – The Player Who Hit For Opposing Teams In The Same Game! | The Sports Archives Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s