SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sergio Romo retired as a San Francisco Giant just the way he wanted, giving the team he helped win three World Series championships one last time and then calling it a career Monday night.
In a moment more special than he could have imagined, the entertaining right-hander faced three Oakland batters in the seventh inning at Oracle Park in the exhibition finale for both clubs.
The Giants reached out a few weeks ago asking if Romo might consider throwing an inning — he looked at his hand and asked if it might give one last hurrah. He has already started playing golf.
So Bay Area baseball fans were treated to one last listen to Romo’s long-running song “El Mechon,” and he enjoyed cheering.
But before he unleashed his nasty slider, Romo got a taste of what he’ll miss in the new, modern world of baseball — he was called for a clock violation by the umpire before throwing his first batter.
Pitching against one of his former teams, Romo walked his first batter, threw a wild pitch and surrendered two singles before former teammate Hunter Pence came out to change the pitch.
Romo, 40, soaked it all in as he made his way to the dugout, tipped his cap and hugged Giants manager Gabe Kapler and others in a sensational send-off.
Romo was curtained and fought back tears as he made his way back to the dugout.
Greeted by a standing ovation when he walked to the dugout to begin his warmup throws, Romo received more cheers when he arrived in spring training. The A’s watched and clapped from their bullpen, and the Giants grinned as they witnessed an emotional farewell to baseball.
Romo played 15 seasons for eight different organizations, including the Athletics, spending his first nine years with the Giants. The reliever shared a farewell message from San Francisco on The Players’ Tribune on Monday.
“Dear San Francisco, tonight I will have to do something one last time — something that is one of the greatest honors of my life: I have to put on a Giants jersey. And before I do that, I just wanted to write this letter and share some thoughts with you all. Thanks for reading,” he said.
On Sunday in Oakland, Romo greeted fans and fist-pumping youngsters as he made his farewell run. On his Instagram account, the ever-creative Romo posted a photo of himself holding a sign similar to the ones students have on the first day of school, but marking his last day in the major.
Romo grew up in Brawley, California, about 195 miles east of San Diego and some 30 miles north of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. He was an All-Star for the Giants in 2013 and posted a career record of 42-36 with a 3.21 ERA and 137 saves in 821 appearances over 722 2/3 innings. He played a total of 23 games for Seattle and Toronto last year.
He also played for the Dodgers, Tampa Bay, Miami and Minnesota. A 2005 28th-round draft pick by San Francisco out of Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo., Romo was a key member of manager Bruce Bochy’s star bullpen soon after making his big league debut in 2008.
Romo helped the Giants win back-to-back titles in 2010, ’12. and ’14. – the 2010 team won the franchise’s first championship since 1954 and San Francisco’s first since moving West in 1958.
Romo excelled in those games, posting a 0.00 ERA and three saves in six World Series appearances.
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