#Shortstops: The $100,000 bonus baby
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The 6-foot-2, 205-pound left-handed pitcher had struck out 945 batters in 545 innings of amateur ball from 1947-49 – including six no-hitters – and was considered a can’t-miss prospect.
He would never return to the big leagues, despite changing his focus from pitching to hitting and posting 102 RBI with Hollywood in 1957.
“I thought I could help the Pirates at that point, but they never called me up,” Pettit said.
He retired following the 1960 PCL season.
“I think if I had known that I wouldn’t have made it as a hitter that I would have tried to stay a pitcher for a little longer,” Pettit said. “I wish they had some of the surgeries then that they do now so they could have worked on my arm.
“But I loved baseball. I was just a regular guy who worked hard.”
Craig Muder is the director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum