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First $100,000 ‘bonus baby’ in MLB Paul Pettit passes away at 88

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Major League Baseball's first six-figure 'bonus baby' dies at the age of 88

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Former Narbonne High School star pitcher Paul Pettit, who became famous for signing a six-figure contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, passed away this morning at the age of 88.

Pettit was known as the 'Wizard of Whiff' and once struck out 27 batters in a 12-inning high school baseball game.

Movie producer Frederick Stephani signed Pettit for 85,000 in 1949 as he was interested in making a baseball movie.

So when the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Pettit the following year, they bought out Stephani's contract with Pettit and also added another 15,000 to the deal making Pettit Major League Baseball's first six-figure bonus baby and the first to use an agent.

The movie was never made as Pettit's pro career was short-lived.

Pettit only pitched in the Major Leagues for two seasons as he injured his arm

He also played for the famous Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League.

After he retired from baseball in 1961, he coached high school baseball and in the minor leagues.

Pettit was living in Canyon Lake in Riverside County at the time of his death.

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Mike Klan

Mike Klan is the sports director for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Mike, click here.

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