Ricky Romero's father, Ricardo, was border-smuggled to the states in 1979. He's now a truck driver in Los Angeles, and Ricky's mom, Sandra, drives a school bus. These are some of the details in a fabulous new SportsNet video examining Ricky's ascent to stardom. Love it.
So happy for that kid. I call him a "kid" because I'll always remember Romero as a big-name prospect, struggling to navigate through Double-A -- for three seasons. One day he taped a Sports Illustrated article inside his locker for motivation. The SI story was on Troy Tulowitzski, coming off an '07 Rookie of the Year campaign, and the article hammered Romero, who'd been selected ahead of Tulo in the '05 draft. "Right now, we made the wrong choice," then-GM J.P. Ricciardi was quoted in the magazine.
|Ricky Romero is representing East LA in a big way.|
Kevin Littlefield Photo
Romero made 10 starts before earning his first Double-A win, and he posted a 10-17 record (4.97 ERA) in three seasons at New Hampshire. In August 2007, the Fisher Cats were making a push to the playoffs and needed a clutch start from Romero. He was lit up by the Sea Dogs, yielding eight runs in 2-2/3 innings.
"This is where I spent a lot of time maturing and growing up. This is where I learned the highs and lows," the Blue Jays ace later told me on a return trip to Manchester, N.H. "I kept telling myself that when I finally get there (to the majors), Toronto is going to know they made the right choice."