In April, we brought you the real-life story of Eddie Waitkus , the ballplayer who was shot by a teenage girl. That incident is best known in its fictionalized form, in Bernard Malamud's The Natural, which we've excerpted below from the just-released collection Bernard Malamud: Novels and Stories of the 1940s & 50s.
See that guy in the middle, sitting down and looking like he'd rather be anywhere else? That's Eddie Waitkus, a first baseman for the Phillies. See the young lady on the left side of the frame? That's Ruth Steinhagen, the woman who on June 14, 1949, tried to kill Eddie Waitkus.
Excerpted from Eddie and the Gun Girl, a Kindle Single about the shooting of Eddie Waitkus, the real-life event that's best known as the fictional pivot of Bernard Malamud's The Natural. Annotations by the author appear throughout.
In the novel, the woman who shot Roy Hobbs in a hotel room was named Harriet Bird, but on June 14, 1949 in an Edgewater Beach Hotel room in Chicago, Ruth Ann Steinhagen shot Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus.