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The Story Behind The Natural

The 1984 film The Natural starred Robert Redford as a talented baseball player working against a corrupt team owner. That's a major simplification of the complicated plot that resulted in a totally satisfying sports film. And Redford looked really good in it. But the story that inspired the book and then the film was insane.  

1. The movie was inspired by a real story

In 1949 a woman who was stalking one of the baseball players in Chicago, actually shot a player with a gun. This inspired Bernard Malamud to write a book about it in 1952. The book and the story served as the inspirations behind the 1984 film “The Natural.”

2. The woman who committed the crime disappeared

For many years, the woman who committed the crime of shooting the ball player seemed to disappear off the radar. The incident seemed to be forgotten until somebody noticed that her obituary appeared in a Chicago Tribune Newspaper. Ruth Ann Steinhagen passed away at the age of 83.

Although it is formatted as a numbered trivia list, this is really the story of the crime that inspired The Natural. Read the rest of it at TVOM.


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