From Markham To The Mound: Jordan Romano Jersey Giveaway Day, Celebrating A Hometown Hero’s Journey

Baseball Writers May 21, 2024

As the sun rises over the Rogers Centre on Victoria Day, anticipation fills the air for a special afternoon in Toronto dedicated to one of the Blue Jays’ brightest stars. Today is Jordan Romano Jersey Giveaway Day, a celebration of not only a standout closer but a local hero whose journey from Markham to the major leagues has captured the hearts of fans.

When reporter Josh Elijah asked Jordan about how surreal it was to have his own jersey giveaway day at the Rogers Centre, Jordan replied,

“Yea, it really is surreal. Just growing up as a kid, you know, going to all of the games and now having the jersey give away – it’s incredible. It’s really special, I know my family is excited to see our last name around the stadium, around the city – it’s awesome!”

Jordan Romano’s story begins in Markham, Ontario where he grew up and attended a lot of Blue Jays games. He recalls going with his buddies that had seasons tickets and points to the 120s section.

“Whenever he’d invite me to games, It would always be awesome. I remember we’d always want to see Ricky Romero start. He was the up and coming guy, so whenever he would start, we’d come down and watch the game. The stadium has changed a lot since I’ve been coming, so to see it now, it’s incredible.

He showcased his athletic talents  from a young age. Excelling in baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball, Romano was a sports prodigy. Despite his prowess, he went undrafted out of high school, a moment that could have been a setback but instead fueled his determination.
Romano’s next chapter took him to Connors State College. His first season was challenging, with a 0-1 record and an 8.68 ERA. However, he turned things around in his second season, posting a 4-3 record and a 4.74 ERA, helping lead the Cowboys to the NJCAA World Series. This performance showcased his resilience and set the stage for further success.

Transferring to Oral Roberts University, Romano continued to impress. As the team’s closer, he recorded a 3-4 record, 11 saves, and a 2.66 ERA in 29 relief appearances. His 49 strikeouts in 40⅔ innings highlighted his growing dominance on the mound and caught the eyes of major league scouts.

In 2014, Jordan hit the proverbial jackpot, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Romano in the 10th round of the MLB draft. Josh asked Jordan on what the draft experience was like, to which he responded,

“My scout who had drafted me, his name was Dallas Black. He saw me in Oklahoma, saw me pitch a little bit, pitched in front of him for a private type of workout. So I knew the Jays were interested, but I wasn’t sure if that was going to be the team, ya know? So when they called, I didn’t really drive a hard negotiation, I really wanted to play for the Jays, and it ended up working out okay.” 

Assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, he quickly moved up to the Bluefield Blue Jays. Posting a 1.93 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 28 innings, Romano’s talent was evident.

However, in 2015 Jordan hit more adversity. Tommy John surgery, sidelining him for the entire season.

Romano’s return in 2016 was nothing short of triumphant. With the Lansing Lugnuts, he threw a complete game win in his first start post-surgery. Finishing the season with a 2.11 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 72⅔ innings, Romano’s comeback was a testament to his perseverance. His journey continued with the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2017, where he posted a 3.39 ERA and 138 strikeouts.

By 2018, Romano was climbing the major league ladder, he was a force in spring training and quickly became a standout with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. His performance, including six no-hit innings against the Hartford Yard Goats, earned him a promotion to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Despite a brief detour with the Chicago White Sox in the Rule 5 draft, he returned to the Blue Jays in 2019, ready to make his mark.

Romano made his major league debut on June 12, 2019, against the Baltimore Orioles, pitching a scoreless inning and recording his first strikeout. His first MLB win and save followed in 2020, marking his arrival as a key player for the Blue Jays. By 2021, he had solidified his role as the team’s closer, with a 2.14 ERA and 23 saves.
Romano set a Blue Jays club record with his 26th consecutive save in 2022 and earned his first All-Star selection. His 36 saves that season placed him third in the American League, and he continued to demonstrate his reliability on the mound. In 2023, he secured a one-year contract worth $4.5375 million and earned his second consecutive All-Star selection.

Jordan has been vocal about leveraging his anxiety when pitching and when Josh asked about it, Jordan said,

“It’s an intense place to be, honestly. I’d say aroudn the 6th inning, that’s where it’s all business. No more joking around, I don’t really like to talk to anyone at that point. We’re just kind of building it up, and getting ready to work. It’s almost like, getting ready for a battle. It get’s pretty intense but it only lasts about 20-30 minutes so we can handle that.”

The preparation is needed because once that intro song starts playing and the light show begins, Romano is absolutely dialled in and ready to shut the door.

As fans don their new Jordan Romano replica jerseys, they celebrate more than just a player. They honour a journey marked by resilience, dedication, and a deep connection to his hometown. For Romano, playing for the Blue Jays is more than just fulfilling a dream; it’s about representing his community and inspiring future generations.

As we cheer on the Blue Jays and celebrate Jordan Romano, we reflect on a journey that embodies the spirit of perseverance and hometown pride. Here’s to Jordan Romano — Markham’s own — and the remarkable path that brought him to the pinnacle of baseball.

Baseball Writers

Baseball Writers

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