BRADENTON -- The 1994 film "The Scout" culminates with a pitcher (played by Brendan Fraser) who puts away every single St. Louis Cardinals hitter with a strikeout.
Yep, 27 up and 27 down via a strikeout.
It's a scene fitting for Hollywood, where such a feat seems preposterous, especially in the age of pitch counts and matchup relievers.
But it did happen away from the film world.
On May 13, 1952, East Manatee resident Ron Necciai struck out 27 hitters in a Class D Appalachian League game for the Bristol (Va.) Twins against the Welch (Va.) Miners in a no-hitter. A walk and an error prevented it from being a perfect game.
"It'll never be done again, because they don't allow pitchers to throw that often," said Harry Dunlop, who was Necciai's catcher that game.
On Friday, Necciai was one of three people to throw out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates' Grapefruit League game against the Minnesota Twins at McKechnie Field.
In addition, he was honored before tossing out the first pitch to a round of applause from the crowd for the historic achievement, and Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston issued a proclamation that deemed the day, "Ron Necciai Day."
"I never saw him pitch, but they said he just had an unbelievable arm," Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass said.
Necciai, who spent his career with the Pirates organization, pitched part of the 1952 season -- his lone one in the majors -- in Pittsburgh. But for the first part of
the 1952 season Necciai was in Bristol because he had health issues and needed to work on his control.
"I could throw pretty hard but I had real fits of wildness," Necciai said. "I could walk enough people that the people in the stands were walking around in a couple innings until you could throw strikes."
And against the Miners on that May day, Necciai threw plenty of strikes.
Despite striking out 27 batters in a nine-inning game and entering the baseball record books, Necciai wasn't aware of what he accomplished.
"Because when you're in the low minor leagues, you've got one thing in mind: I've got to get better to get out of here to get somewhere else above," he said.
When his manager at the time, George Detore, and Dunlop mentioned it to him in the locker room
"I said, 'So what? They've been playing this game for a hundred years, other people have done it,'" Necciai said. "And then we come to find out that nobody ever did."
The feat, to this day, shocks most, including current Pirates.
"I don't even want to go up there as a hitter, really, because he's either going to strike me out or I'm going to be out," Pirates third baseman Jason Rogers said. 'That's crazy."
Reliever Jared Hughes, who is a sinker ball pitcher, was stunned, too.
"I pitch to contact, a lot of guys don't," Hughes said. "But it's very hard to go out there and put away hitters. And to do it that many times? It must mean that you have more than one pitch that you can put them away with."
The right-handed Necciai certainly had more than one pitch in that Class D -- the equivalent of Single-A ball today -- game in 1952.
Dunlop said Necciai's fastball reached the upper 90s and his curveball was really good.
"His curveball was like a drop," said Dunlop, who stayed involved in baseball through coaching for 50 years and lives in Elk Grove, Calif. "The old saying that they have the drop? That thing just rolled off the table. And, in fact, when you were catching him, every time I called for the curveball I always anticipated he was going to bounce it. Because he did more times than not. And they'd swing at it, because it was so good."
Necciai was so good that famed baseball executive Branch Rickey said Necciai was one of the three best pitchers he ever saw alongside Christy Mathewson and Dizzy Dean.
But Necciai's career was short-lived due to bleeding ulcers and a rotator cuff injury.
The ulcers, Necciai said, was something doctors back then thought had something to do with diet. They persisted, though, even after he was drafted into the United States Army for the Korean War in 1953. Once discharged, he was able to manage the ulcers but his baseball career effectively ended with the rotator cuff injury.
Necciai said they didn't know what was wrong back then, and rotator cuff injuries weren't fixable until 15-20 years later.
Necciai then ventured into the manufacturing world that sold fishing, hunting and shooting equipment
A Pennsylvania native, who was inducted into the Keystone State's Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, Necciai eventually moved to Anna Maria Island in the early 2000s before moving to East Manatee County last year.
He originally started arriving locally because his in-laws had a place here during the early 1960s.
And on Friday, he tossed out the first pitch ahead of the Pirates game against the Twins at McKechnie amid cheers from the fans that showed up to see someone that has something truly unique with baseball history.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill and like his Facebook page at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.