June 18, 1932 |
|August 10, 1952 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
Last MLB appearance
|September 28, 1952 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||7.08|
Ronald Andrew Necciai [neh-chai], (born June 18, 1932 in Gallatin, Pennsylvania), is a former Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1952 season. He batted and threw right-handed.
Necciai is best remembered for the unique feat of striking out 27 batters in a nine-inning game, which he accomplished in the Class-D Appalachian League on May 13, 1952. He is the only pitcher ever to do so in a nine-inning, professional-league game.
Minor League career
Necciai pitched two seasons of Class-D baseball before being drafted in the Pirates' farm system in 1952 at age 19. He was assigned to pitch for the Bristol Twins, the Pirates' Appalachian League team. On May 13, pitching despite painful stomach ulcers, Necciai struck out 27 batters while throwing a 7-0 no-hitter against the Welch Miners. Four of the Welch hitters did reach base, one runner each via a walk, an error, a hit batsman and a passed ball charged to Twins' catcher Harry Dunlop on a swinging third strike. This resulted in a four-strikeout ninth inning. Only two batters put the ball in play: Bob Ganung grounded out to first base in the second inning and Whitehead got on base on an error in the ninth.
In his next start, Necciai threw a 24-strikeout two-hitter. In that season he struck out 109 hitters in 43 innings with Bristol, and a Carolina League-high 172 in 126 innings at Burlington before quickly climbing the ranks of the organization and eventually getting called up to the Major Leagues amid heavy publicity in August 1952.
Major League career
Necciai served a brief stint in the United States Armed Forces in 1953 before being released on a medical discharge. He returned to baseball thereafter, but was plagued by injuries resulting from his long-standing battle with stomach ulcers and further debilitation from a torn rotator cuff. He spent the years between 1953 and 1955 in various lower levels of professional baseball, but was ultimately unable to overcome injuries. He later began a successful career in the sporting goods industry.
- Further reading
- Dennis Snelling: A Glimpse of Fame, McFarland & Company, Jefferson N.C., 1993, pp. 135–149
- Jordan, Pat (June 1, 1987). "Kid K.". Sports Illustrated: 82–94. Archived from the original on June 4, 2010.
- In-line citations
- "Ron Necciai". pirates.baseball-news-update.com. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
- Pat Jordan (1987-06-01). "In 1952, Ron Necciai, 19, struck out 27 batters in nine - 06.01.87 - SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2010-09-05.