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Rocket Ron Necciai

Rocket Ron

Rocket Ron:

The Ron Necciai Story and His Record-Setting 27 Strikeouts

On a cool May evening in 1952, Ron Necciai stepped into baseball history while pitching for the Bristol (Virginia) Twins of the Class D Appalachian League.

Necciai, a 6-foot-3 right-handed prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, became the only pitcher in professional baseball history to strike out 27 batters in one nine-inning game performing this feat against the Welch (West Virginia) Miners at Bristol's Shaw Stadium.

Never before, nor since, has any pitcher in the major or minor leagues struck out 27 batters over the course of nine innings.

Necciai's amazing accomplishment splashed him across the headlines on sport pages across the country gaining him national attention.

Branch Rickey once said he had seen only two pitchers who threw harder than Necciai - one was Christy Mathewson and the other was Dizzy Dean.

Necciai left Bristol and ultimately joined the major league Pirates at the end of the 1952 season. However, the Ron Necciai story ended just as quickly as it began.

Necciai was drafted into the United States Army in 1953 but was discharged suffering from a recurring bout with ulcers. Trying to get back into shape to play baseball again, Necciai felt a sharp pain in his shoulder while throwing off the mound one day at Forbes Field. It turned out to be a torn rotator cuff. Today's medical knowledge could have repaired the injury, but not in the 1950s.

Necciai's career as a pitcher was over.

George Stone tells the story of Necciai in his newly released book Rocket Ron.

Rocket Ron describes Necciai's early life and his rise into professional baseball and an in-depth look at the 27-strikeout game. Stone interviews many of the surviving players for both Bristol and Welch who took part in that infamous game. The book also details Necciai's two months pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski writes the foreword to the book.

Rocket Ron is Stone's second book on minor league baseball as he wrote Muscle: A Minor League Legend, the story of Leo "Muscle" Shoals. Stone is a former sports writer for the Johnson City Press-Chronicle and the Bristol Herald Courier having served as sports editor for the Herald Courier from 1995-1999. Stone is currently a freelance writer living in Bristol.

For more information about the book, contact Stone at 4792 Island Road, Bristol, TN 37620 or email him at geomar@btes.tv. Or, to order, send check or money order for $17 (postage included) to Stone at the above address.