Edward Stephen Waitkus (September 4, 1919 – September 16, 1972) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball who had an 11-year career (1941, 1946–1955). He played for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies in the National League and for the Baltimore Orioles of the American League. He was elected to the National League All-Star team twice (1948 and 1949).
Eddie Waitkus, the son of Lithuanian immigrants, grew up in Boston. Eddie began his pro career in 1938 playing for the Worumbo Indians, a semi-pro team sponsored by Worumbo Woolen Mill in Lisbon Falls, Maine. As a rookie, he was known as "the natural," which gave the title to the book loosely based on his life. He saw some of the bloodier fighting of World War II with the U.S. Army in the Philippines, awarded four Bronze Stars. Upon his return to baseball he quickly became a star for the Chicago Cubs. He also became a popular media figure, as he was well-educated and was fluent in the Lithuanian, Polish, German and French languages. Following the 1948 season, the Cubs traded Waitkus with Hank Borowy to the Philadelphia Phillies for Monk Dubiel and Dutch Leonard.
Howie Foxx, Jimmie Dykes, Eddie Waitkus Bob Turley rubbing Eddie's head for good luck