Baseball's Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus

By John Theodore | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Foreword
Ira Berkow

I had no idea she was there, lurking, as it were, in the crowd, perhaps even rubbing shoulders with me.

This was after Chicago Cubs games in Wrigley Field in 1948 and, particularly, Cubs-Philadelphia Phillies games in the spring of 1949. I was a boy of nine in 1949, she a girl of nineteen. We were both, it turned out, starry-eyed over the ballplayers—she over a particular player—as they came out of their clubhouses under the shaded stands, hair all showered and slicked back, looking like tanned gods and stuffed with thick shoulders into their light-colored sport jackets.

Most of them scribbled autographs for the swarming fans as they walked and then hurried on and disappeared inside their cars in the players' parking lot—or the team bus for the visiting players—leaving behind a trail of awe and aftershave lotion.

My friends and I went regularly from our neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago to the ball games at Wrigley Field and across town at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox. All the players and coaches—anyone with a major league uniform—interested us, though of course we had our favorites. One of mine was Eddie Waitkus, a smooth-fielding first baseman who had been traded from the Cubs to the Phillies in the winter after the 1948 season—another one of those inexplicable Cubs trades that sent one of their best and most popular players away and doomed the team to perennial bottom-of-the-standings finishes. Waitkus was also her favorite but in a completely different way—in an obsessive, homicidal way, as it turned out.

Her name was Ruth Ann Steinhagen, and she lived with her parents and sister on the North Side, a short distance from Wrigley Field. While I was often in the crowd of fans that sought the autograph of Waitkus and others, Steinhagen, as John Theodore writes in the compelling narrative that follows, often stood apart, with bizarre thoughts running through her head.

-xv-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Baseball's Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 136

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?