Lesley Stahl: And it happened more than once?
R.A. Dickey: It happened over that summer about, I'd say about four times.
Lesley Stahl: And you didn't tell anybody?
R.A. Dickey: No, because there's a part of it that feels so wicked. You feel like you've been a part of it in some way. And so you don't say anything, at least I don't. I didn't.
Lesley Stahl: You didn't.
R.A. Dickey: And that was a mistake.
But the babysitter abuse was only the prelude. Later that year, he was playing near a rundown garage - when a stranger - a male this time, raped him.
R.A. Dickey: It was so much more physical, you know. It was a strong man, like holding you down kind of stuff, it wasn't-- it was just really awful.
Lesley Stahl: You're still 8?
R.A. Dickey: I'm 8 years old. But I'll never forget knowing what was fixing to happen to me. And just wanting it to be over with and going, just going limp, like-
Lesley Stahl: And giving - submitting -
R.A. Dickey: Giving up, like giving into it. And I think I had a lot of shame about that.
Lesley Stahl: What is the shame, if you're the abused one?
R.A. Dickey: The shame is that you didn't speak up, that you didn't have a voice, that you were in that position to begin with, that you didn't run away, that you in some way might have invited it. There's all kinds of things that play tricks on your mind.
He says he buried all that shame, all his secrets...but it turned him into a kid who was full of anger. His one outlet was sports. He was a gifted athlete, and that proved to be his ticket out.
R.A. Dickey: This is a pretty special place. It was for me.
When he was 13, he was admitted to one of Nashville's top prep schools on a full scholarship. This is where he found structure and discipline and met a classmate's sister, Anne, who he proposed to back then.
Anne Dickey: You know a 12-year-old girl doesn't forget that! I don't know if-
R.A. Dickey: I pulled out my ace, right at the beginning. Here's my ace card.
Lesley Stahl: Here's my ace. You proposed at 13--
Anne Dickey: I know. I don't know what I really thought of it. I probably was like, "Ooh, this is crazy."
They waited 'til after his junior year in college when the Texas Rangers made him the team's number-one draft choice, with a signing bonus of $810,000. But before he signed on the dotted line, the team's trainer saw this photograph of Dickey on the 1996 U.S. Olympics team and thought that his throwing arm was bent at a funny angle. So, he sent R.A. for an MRI that found---
R.A. Dickey: I didn't have the existence of an ulnar collateral ligament in my right elbow, which is the ligament that holds the elbow together.
Lesley Stahl: The Texas Rangers said, "Without the ligament, we don't want you."