The Natural

Major characters[6]

  • Roy Hobbs – “The Natural” – A once teenage pitching phenomenon whose career was sidelined and dreams were derailed when he was seriously injured after a meeting with a mysterious woman who shoots him as he travels to Chicago to try out for a Major League baseball team. The story revolves around Hobbs's quest to make a comeback years after the tragedy and, hopefully, finally to take his rightful place on the field and be remembered as one of the greatest ballplayers of all time.
  • Memo Paris – Roy’s main love interest throughout the story, Memo is Pop Fisher’s niece and is often in the company of Sands. She is generally unhappy and leads Roy on for most of the novel.
  • Pop Fisher – The grizzled manager of the New York Knights, Pop was once a fine player who is remembered for making a crucial error in his playing career and for never winning the big game. His name and situation are suggestive of the Fisher King of legend.
  • Max Mercy – A seedy journalist who is more concerned with unearthing facts about the player’s personal lives than covering the sport itself. Mercy meets Hobbs in the beginning of the novel and later spends most of his time trying to uncover his dark secrets.
  • Sands – A morally bankrupt bookie who enjoys placing bets against Hobbs until he persuades him to take a dive in the final game. is also always around Memo, despite Roy’s protests.
  • Iris Lemon – A fan of Roy’s who helps him break his slump in the middle of the season. Iris makes a deep connection with Roy, although he favors Memo over her until the end of the novel.
  • Harriet Bird – The mysterious woman the teen-aged Roy meets on the train when he is en route to Chicago at the beginning of the novel. She later shoots him in her hotel room before committing suicide. Her character is loosely based on Ruth Ann Steinhagen, a disturbed 19-year-old baseball fan who, obsessed with Eddie Waitkus, shot and nearly killed him in 1949.

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