"That was a great experience, something that I'll never forget for the rest of my life," Romero told The Las Vegas Sun of the 21 major league games he saw the year before with the Padres. "Hopefully I can get back up there again this year."
Romero got those games with the Padres in 1997 after nearly a decade spent in the minors. He also got back again in 1998 and one final time five years later, in 2003.
Romero's pro career began in 1988, taken by the Pirates in the 19th round of the draft out of Eastern Florida State College. Romero also went by his given name, Armando Romero.
Romero started with the Pirates at rookie Princeton. He hit .310 over 30 games. He made single-A Augusta in 1989, then high-A Salem in 1990.
Going into 1991, Romero talked to The Associated Press about playing in spring training - and what his high jersey number meant.
"I'm not blind," Romero told The AP. "I know I have no chance at all of making the club. I know who's in front of me and what my situation is."
Romero's situation continued that year at AA Carolina, then to AAA Buffalo in 1993. The catcher saw 42 games at Buffalo that year and seven the next.
After spending two seasons back at AA with the Royals and Padres, Romero returned to AAA in 1997 - and made the bigs.
Romero got into 21 games for San Diego in 1997. He picked up 10 hits in 48 at bats. In his first start, July 18, Romero picked up two hits, including his first home run. He then went 3 for 4 five days later, with his second home run.
"I didn't expect it to be this good," Romero told The AP that July. "It's going unbelievably good for me right now."
Romero got into six more games with the Padres in 1998, then 12 more with the Red Sox after a trade. He went 3 for 22 overall.
Romero then moved through five other organizations in the minors over the next four seasons. He played mostly at AAA, but also saw AA.
He returned to the majors one final time with the Rockies in 2003. He went 3 for 7 to end his career.
- Cumberland Times-News, March 12, 1991: Sports briefs
- Mattoon Journal Gazette, July 31, 1997: 'Crash' Romero finally in the show
- Las Vegas Sun, May 26, 1998: Romero keeps big-league hope alive and well
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,919
Made the Majors:1,086-37.2%-X
Never Made Majors:1,833-62.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 450
10+ Seasons in the Minors:270