Sports shorts: Woman who shot ex-Cub, inspired 'The Natural,' dies

2013-03-18T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: Woman who shot ex-Cub, inspired 'The Natural,' diesStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star

CHICAGO - A woman whose shooting of former Chicago Cubs baseball player Eddie Waitkus 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, but her passing was not noticed by the media until three months later.

After a game on June 14, 1949, the obsessed fan lured Waitkus into a Chicago hotel room with a note, then nearly killed him. She was declared insane and spent 2 1/2 years in a mental hospital before being freed. She quietly lived the rest of her life in Chicago.

Waitkus died in 1972 - 12 years before Robert Redford portrayed Roy Hobbs, the character inspired by Waitkus in "The Natural." Waitkus was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1948 season, and "that's when she decided to kill him," said John Theodore, an author who wrote a 2002 nonfiction book about the first baseman and the crime. Waitkus came back to help the Phillies win a pennant in 1950.

College golf

UA men tie for 7th in local tourney

Juan Pablo Hernandez shot a 1-under-par 71 Sunday to tie for 10th place and help the Arizona men's golf team finish seventh at the Don Puckette National Invitational at Omni Tucson National Golf Club.

With a three-round total of 213, Hernandez finished five strokes behind winner Julien Brun of TCU. Alex McMahon tied for 22nd at 216 for the Wildcats (864), who were 20 strokes behind winner New Mexico (844). The Lobos edged TCU by one stroke.

Miscellaneous

Pregnant lacrosse coach mourned

GREENSBURG, Pa. - Tiny Seton Hill University outside Pittsburgh mourned the loss of women's lacrosse coach Kristina Quigley, 30, who died Saturday along with her unborn child when the team's bus crashed on the way to a game at Millersville.

• Maria Sharapova defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2 to win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday in a final between two former top-ranked tennis players.

• In the NFL, ex-Miami offensive tackle Jake Long agreed to a deal in St. Louis; former Oakland tight end Brandon Myers signed with the Giants, and the Raiders signed ex-Miami linebacker Kevin Burnett.

• In soccer, Lionel Messi scored twice to extend his scoring streak record to 18 games and move into seventh place on the La Liga career list as Barcelona beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1; and U.S. forward Jozy Altidore scored his 25th goal of the season as AZ Alkmaar lost 3-2 to first-place Ajax.

• In cycling, South Africa's Gerald Ciolek won Italy's Milan-San Remo classic, outsprinting Peter Sagan to win in 5 hours 37 minutes 20 seconds during bad weather.

• Aleksandra Duliba of Belarus won the Los Angeles Marathon in her marathon debut in 2:26.8. Kenyan Erick Mose won the men's race with a personal best (2:09.44).

Includes material from a news release

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