MLB’s First Bonus Baby And The Hollywood Big Shot Who Changed Baseball

Here’s a story about how the film industry helped change the way baseball does business.

“I didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal,” Paul Pettit says. “I mean, over the years, it just keeps coming back.”

Pettit is 88 now. I grew up with his youngest daughter, and when we were kids, I called him Mr. Pettit.

Until recently, I had no idea that Mr. Pettit was important to the history of baseball. I only knew that he had played the game when he was younger.

“I was kinda good at throwing a ball, and I always threw it a little bit harder than most kids, so I just automatically gravitated to pitching,” Pettit says.

Pettit wasn’t yet in high school when people first started noticing his talent.

“There were a lot of leagues at that time in Southern California — amateur leagues,” says Dan Taylor, author of the baseball book “Fate’s Takeout Slide.”

A High School Phenom

“His best friend was his catcher later in the high school team, Gar Meyers,” Taylor says. “And Gar had gotten on an amateur team and encouraged Paul to come to a tryout, which Paul did.

“The coach of this team was a scout for the St. Louis Browns, and he changed Paul’s pitching mechanics. Almost instantly, Paul…

Read the full text of “MLB’s First Bonus Baby And The Hollywood Big Shot Who Changed Baseball”