May 13, 2014

Ron Necciai: 9-0-0-1-27

On this date in 1952, Ron Necciai of the Bristol Twins struck out 27 batters while pitching a 7-0 no-hitter against the Welch Miners (Appalachian League). Four Welch hitters reached base: a walk, an error, a hit by pitch and a passed ball on a swinging third strike.

In 1987, Sports Illustrated's Pat Jordan published a lengthy article on Necciai and his remarkable performance.
While the Welch Miners were taking batting practice, the Bristol pitcher began to warm up along the leftfield line. After a few throws, Necciai could tell he didn't have his good stuff this night. He told his bullpen catcher he doubted he would be able to go nine. Necciai didn't seem to notice the Welch batters, and if he did, it didn't bother him much. He never pitched against batters in a game. He pitched according to the plan Detore mapped out for him on the bench. Midway through his warmups, Necciai felt a burning sensation in his stomach. The burning got worse as he began to sweat in the cool night air. When he finished, he walked back to the dugout and told Detore his ulcer was acting up. Detore told him to give it a shot anyway. "See how far you can go, son," he said.

Necciai did as he was told. He was starting a professional baseball game for only the 21st time in his life. The fans were still entering the small ballpark, with its slatted wooden bleachers. Some of them were buying hot dogs and popcorn, and others were still settling into their seats by the time Necciai retired the first three Welch batters. He struck out one on a called strike, and two swinging. He walked off the mound to a smattering of applause.
See also: The Man Who Struck Out Everybody.

1 comment:

FenFan said...

Per Wikipedia and confirmed through the BR Bullpen: "In his next start, Necciai threw a 24-strikeout two-hitter."