Zupke: Paul Pettit’s legend extends beyond 70th anniversary of 27-strikeout game

From Curtis Zupke at the Los Angeles Times on May 10, 2019:

The letters arrive every now and then, and they always bring joy.

Nearly 70 years after he stepped into a unique place in baseball history, Paul Pettit remains adored. His newlywed wife, Sally, gets a kick out of it, too.

“He still gets fan mail,” she said with a touch of giddiness.

Pettit recently checked off a new box when he retrieved his mail.

“My crowning achievement, I got one from Japan,” Pettit said. “I saved it. I even framed it and put it up in my garage.”

Those tasks aren’t easy for Pettit these days. He is 87 and he doesn’t move well. He has an arthritic condition in his spine that crowds the nerves to his arms and legs. But he’s still as sharp as the fastballs that made him the first $100,000 “bonus baby” in Major League Baseball history.

Pettit can well recall the details of a life that made him the most sought amateur pitcher in America at 18, a strapping, flashbulb-inducing left-hander who struck out 27 batters in a 12-inning game for Harbor City Narbonne 70 years ago Sunday.

Read the full article here: https://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-paul-pettit-27-strikeouts-20190510-story.html

Originally published: May 16, 2019. Last Updated: May 16, 2019.