Ever heard the name "Ron Necciai" before? You now, Ron Necciai, "The Man Who Struck Out Everybody?" The fellow described as "the real-life Sidd Finch," who somehow managed to wiff twenty-seven batters in a nine-inning game? And who did it when he was only nineteen?
Yeah, me neither. And that's insane, because THERE WAS A KID WHO STRUCK OUT TWENTY-SEVEN BASEBALL PLAYERS IN A MINOR LEAGUE GAME and it went virtually unnoticed:
No sportswriter interviewed the pitcher after the game; writers didn’t collect postgame quotes then. The Herald Courierreporter, Jimmy Carson, hurried back to the newsroom and sent the story to the Associated Press for nationwide distribution. AP’s state editor in Richmond, the future television anchor Paul Duke, read “27 strikeouts” and called to ask if the boys in Bristol were drunk.
Injuries and a military career derailed Necciai on his way to the bigs, and he never really matched the potential of that game -- a reminder that sustaining excellence in baseball is just about the only thing more difficult than achieving excellence.
Interestingly, he did NOT strike out these twenty-seven hapless minor-leaguers in a row (due to the weird-but-still-exciting "reached on a dropped third strike" play), so I suppose they were able to take some consolation in that. Some small consolation. Super-duper small.
Another super-duper small consolation? Necciai's mind-blowing feat has been somewhat publically appreciated in more recent years. Not sure it can ever be fully appreciated, though. 27 Ks. In one game. At the age of 19. I don't even know how you could fully appreciate that.
East Manatee's Ron Necciai struck out 27 batters in nine innings in a 1952 Class D Appalachian League game. It has never been done since nor was accomplished before. Necciai followed that up with 24 strikeouts in his next start.