In this episode of Baseball Shorts, we pay attention to the term Baseball Annie. What does the term mean and where does it come from? Read on and you will learn (in case you did not know it yet).
A Baseball Annie is a woman who follows baseball players very closely and who is “easy” for ballplayers. In other words a groupie.
The most famous example of a Baseball Annie is Annie Savoy, the character played by Susan Sarandon in the 1988 movie Bull Durham. In the movie, she chases both Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh, played by Tim Robbins and Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner.
But where does the term come from? That is actually pretty simple. The first known Baseball Annie was Ruth Ann Steinhagen, who became obsessed with Cubs and then Phillies’ first baseman Eddie Waitkus. The obsession went even that far that she shot Waitkus in the chest, nearly killing him. Nowadays, her behavior would be seen as stalker crimes. The story of Steinhagen and Waitkus was the inspiration for the 1952 novel “The Natural,” which was adapted for the screen with Robert Redford in the starring role.
Even though the name Baseball Annie is still known, it is not as commonly used as it once was.