Baseball's Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus

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9780803259584: Baseball's Natural: The Story of Eddie Waitkus

Baseball's Natural is John Theodore's true account of the slick-fielding first baseman who played for the Cubs and the Phillies in the 1940s and became immortalized in baseball lore as the inspiration for Bernard Malamud's The Natural. Eddie Waitkus grew up in Boston and fought in the Pacific theater in World War II. Following the war, Waitkus became one of the most popular players of his era. In 1949, with his career on the rise, his life changed dramatically in a Chicago hotel when a nineteen-year-old shot him in the chest. Waitkus’s dramatic recovery the next year inspired his teammates as the Phillies won the National League pennant. Although Waitkus survived the shooting, he could never outlive it.

Through interviews with Waitkus’s family, fellow servicemen, former ballplayers, and childhood friends, and aided by fifteen photographs, Theodore chronicles Waitkus’s remarkable comeback as well as the difficult years following his Major League career.

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About the Author:

Native Chicagoan John Theodore has served as a reporter, writer, editor, and television and radio producer. Ira Berkow is a sports columnist for the New York Times and the author of To the Hoop: Seasons of a Basketball Life and Court Vision: Unexpected Views on the Lure of Basketball, available in a Bison Books edition.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The girl behind the door—young, tall, and attractive, her long, curling back hair held in perfect place by a flashy pair of studded combs—reconstructed her encounter with Eddie Waitkus for Chicago police: "So I went to bed and after I had fallen asleep I heard the telephone ring and I answered it and it was Waitkus." She said she asked him to give her a chance to get dressed, and when he arrived at the door a half hour later, she thanked him for coming. "I know it’s late at night for an athlete and all. Come on in." She said Waitkus briskly walked past her into the tiny room and sat down in a small armchair near the room’s only window, as she went into a closet. "I have a surprise for you," she said from behind the door. She told police Waitkus was shocked when she came out waving a rifle in his face. A machine gunner in four Pacific landings, Eddie Waitkus had faced death many times in World War II. And now a young girl in a white lace blouse owned his fate in a Chicago hotel room. "What goes on here?" he asked. His back stiffened, and his face broke out in a twisted smile. "Is this some kind of joke? What have I done?" The instincts that had kept him alive in war, the reactions that never failed him on the baseball field, vanished. The yellow flash tore through his chest and shoved him against the wall. "I was so excited I could not control myself," the girl told police. "And then he slumped to the floor." And the girl with the long black curls knelt by his side and held his hand on her lap.

from "Room 1297-A"

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Baseball s Natural is John Theodore s true account of the slick-fielding first baseman who played for the Cubs and the Phillies in the 1940s and became immortalized in baseball lore as the inspiration for Bernard Malamud s The Natural. Eddie Waitkus grew up in Boston and fought in the Pacific theater in World War II. Following the war, Waitkus became one of the most popular players of his era. In 1949, with his career on the rise, his life changed dramatically in a Chicago hotel when a nineteen-year-old shot him in the chest. Waitkus s dramatic recovery the next year inspired his teammates as the Phillies won the National League pennant. Although Waitkus survived the shooting, he could never outlive it. Through interviews with Waitkus s family, fellow servicemen, former ballplayers, and childhood friends, and aided by fifteen photographs, Theodore chronicles Waitkus s remarkable comeback as well as the difficult years following his Major League career. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780803259584

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Baseball s Natural is John Theodore s true account of the slick-fielding first baseman who played for the Cubs and the Phillies in the 1940s and became immortalized in baseball lore as the inspiration for Bernard Malamud s The Natural. Eddie Waitkus grew up in Boston and fought in the Pacific theater in World War II. Following the war, Waitkus became one of the most popular players of his era. In 1949, with his career on the rise, his life changed dramatically in a Chicago hotel when a nineteen-year-old shot him in the chest. Waitkus s dramatic recovery the next year inspired his teammates as the Phillies won the National League pennant. Although Waitkus survived the shooting, he could never outlive it. Through interviews with Waitkus s family, fellow servicemen, former ballplayers, and childhood friends, and aided by fifteen photographs, Theodore chronicles Waitkus s remarkable comeback as well as the difficult years following his Major League career. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780803259584

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Book Description Bison Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Paperback. 140 pages. Baseballs Natural is John Theodores true account of the slick-fielding first baseman who played for the Cubs and the Phillies in the 1940s and became immortalized in baseball lore as the inspiration for Bernard Malamuds The Natural. Eddie Waitkus grew up in Boston and fought in the Pacific theater in World War II. Following the war, Waitkus became one of the most popular players of his era. In 1949, with his career on the rise, his life changed dramatically in a Chicago hotel when a nineteen-year-old shot him in the chest. Waitkuss dramatic recovery the next year inspired his teammates as the Phillies won the National League pennant. Although Waitkus survived the shooting, he could never outlive it. Through interviews with Waitkuss family, fellow servicemen, former ballplayers, and childhood friends, and aided by fifteen photographs, Theodore chronicles Waitkuss remarkable comeback as well as the difficult years following his Major League career. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780803259584

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