"No, sirree," he says, "They won't have to hold any benefits for Ron Necciai."
It took him a while, however, to achieve this state of contentment. "For a long time I couldn't accept the fact that my arm wouldn't heal," he says. "Other guys get a sore arm and it lasts two weeks." His expression becomes pained. "Why the hell did I get one that lasted forever?" He flings his hand in the air, as if to dismiss his complaint. "Aw, I never thought I had the skills other kids did anyway. When I tried hard, it would all go to hell." He taps his head. "Testardo. Rock head. You know, I couldn't even spin a curveball right, at first. Then I wound up with the best curve in baseball." He looks bewildered by that fact, as if even now it surprises him. "Boy, I could sure bend it." He shakes his head in disbelief.
He is in his wood-paneled office now. A messy room. His desk is strewed with papers. He picks one up. "Look at this," he says, "my Pittsburgh contract." It is an agreement by the Pittsburgh Athletic Company, Inc., to pay one Ronald Andrew Necciai the sum of $750 per month for his services. "A lotta money in 1953," he says. Then he begins browsing through a mess of clippings stuck in an old scrap-book as if its possessor did not value them. "Here it is," he says, holding up a yellowed newspaper photo of himself, at 19, in a Bristol Twins uniform. He puts on his reading glasses to better see himself as he was then—a skinny, long-necked boy with big ears and a big, wincing, almost bewildered smile. A nice boy. An ordinary boy who still, to this day, cannot understand the blessing he was given.
"It's a very strange thing," he says. "A freak. I mean, no one else has ever done it." He shakes his head and looks up. "You know, I only began to worry when I began to play baseball."