Veteran reliever Sergio Romo made the final appearance of his career on Monday night in an exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics that was played at Oracle Park. Romo, a three-time World Series champion, had recently rejoined the San Francisco Giants with this goal in mind, saying at the time of his signing that he had no intention of trying to make the team. Instead, he was looking for closure and a way to make peace with his career ending.
Though Romo faced only three batters, retiring none, he had an eventful last outing. That began with him entering to his familiar tune, "El Mechón."
Sergio Romo enters to 'El Mechón' for one last time 😢 pic.twitter.com/oWni2adxbO— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) March 28, 2023
Indeed, Romo's appearance began with a standing ovation from his longtime home crowd -- and with a pair of pitch timer violations that resulted in him issuing a leadoff walk on what amounted to two pitches. Take a look:
The ump really called a ball because Sergio took too much time 🙄🤣 pic.twitter.com/l2djqOYFv3— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) March 28, 2023
"I didn't expect to walk a hitter on two pitches thrown," Romo told NBC Sports Bay Area, according to Alex Espinoza of 95.7 The Game. "It is what it is. They got a protocol. They're getting ready for the season too. It was a lot of fun, it really, really was. You talk about being to pitch a game -- I couldn't tell you the last time I was nervous to get in the game."
Romo pitched in parts of 15 seasons, spending nine of those with the Giants. He amassed a 123 career ERA+ and a 4.41 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Of his 137 career saves, 84 of those came with the Giants. Beyond his numbers, he became a memorable player in franchise history thanks to his beard and his trademark slider, an offering that allowed him to make up for his lacking velocity.
Romo's former Giants teammate Hunter Pence was the one who removed him from the game, allowing the Oracle Park crowd one last opportunity to salute one of their favorites.
A moment that will never be forgotten 🧡 pic.twitter.com/fOggzTofLH— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) March 28, 2023
"What a fitting way to find some closure," Romo said. "A very special way to tip the cap and show this fanbase how appreciative for the faith and the confidence they always seemed to have in me. For also the love they showed me throughout the years. Even after, when I left and I showed up in a different uniform, I never got booed. I was always happy to be around and happy to be back. This time, it was even more special because I was wearing the right colors."