Sport: Bonus Baby

For two years, major-league scouts drooled every time they saw big, tousle-haired Paul Pettit throw a baseball. Not since Fireball Bob Feller was an apple-cheeked Iowa schoolboy had they seen anything like Pettit. But by the laws of organized baseball it was taboo to discuss such down-to-earth matters as money with Pettit until his schooling was finished at Narbonne High in Lomita, Calif. While the scouts were counting the days until the 18-year-old pitcher graduated, they learned something that made them dry-mouthed and white-lipped.

A nimble-footed Hollywood movie producer, Frederick Stephani, had signed up Pitcher Pettit four months ago. For $85,000 (including...

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