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Ronnie Necciai, a Living Legend

Updated on May 14, 2012
autographed baseball
autographed baseball | Source

a most historic event...

My sister and I were reminiscing a little the other day and I decided to quiz her memory just a little by asking if she could remember what she was doing some sixty years ago from this coming Mother’s Day. She seemed to study just a little and then ask me if I could remember. I had actually started research for this Hub and had noticed that today would be the sixtieth anniversary of a most historic event that happened right in our hometown sixty years ago on May 13, 1952.

Did your dad ever take you to a major or minor league game?

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a young Ron Necciai
a young Ron Necciai | Source

my dad loved baseball...

As a small lad, I thought my dad knew everything about baseball, and he also seemed to know all the stats as well. Who had the best batting average, the most RBIs, the most times at bat? Who played what position, even who won the series, not only last years but even the ones before that? How he could remember all this and kept up with all the details of the current games I'll never know. I remember watching him when I was a small child; he would sit in front of the radio deeply engrossed, anticipating each exciting word from the announcer. My dad really loved the sport and inwardly always hoped that one of his three boys would maybe play or at least somehow just enjoy the game as much as he did. But during the early ‘50’s, things were changing so quickly and so much around us in East Tennessee that baseball had to take a back seat amongst us boys except for maybe when we played Little League or Pony League, but I’m sure that was little consolation to our dad.

two days later
two days later | Source
Rocket Ron
Rocket Ron | Source

the perfect game...

We had an Appalachian league team in my home town of Bristol when I was a youngster, known as the Bristol Twins, a class D farm team for the Pittsburg Pirates. The home games were played at the old Shaw Stadium on the outskirts of town not far from where I grew up on the West side of town and just across the state line in Virginia. I remember going to many of the ball games with my dad and my sister and I were debating over the facts of the game and she said, “Sam, we were probably present at that very game. Remember how dad had me always go in first to see if I could get seats right behind home plate,” she said as we were trying to figure if we were present or not at that historic game when Ronnie Necciai (NETCH-eye) pitched that record-setting and never duplicated perfect game the night of May 13, 1952. I do remember meeting that young pitcher and shaking his hand. He was just about ten years older than me and my dad was also able to get a picture of him which I keep for many years.

still talking about it...

I just talked to my sister and she said there was a big write up in the Bristol Herald Courier, our local hometown newspaper today with pictures and the full account of that faithful night that has never been duplicated in which ‘Rocket Ron’ Necciai struck out every batter on the opposing team, 27 in all. An interview with Ron stated that he would like to come back this summer to witness our local team play after all these years…

© 2012 SamSonS


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    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 5 years ago from Tennessee

      thanks so much for your comments lifegate. I just knew there were some real baseball fans out there...

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for the memories. I didn't know about "Rocket Ron", but I do remember my dad and I listening each night on the radio to Bob Prince, then the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, call the game. That was in the 60's when Pittsburgh actually fielded some good teams.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Thanks a lot Will for being the first to respond, and yes the Welch West Virginia Miners was the opponents and were tied for second place that year...

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Quite a feat. The defeated team was the Welsh Miners.

      Great Hub!