Yankees’ fiery backup catcher gets it all from his dad

Yankees’ fiery backup catcher gets it all from his dad
Yankees’ fiery backup catcher gets it all from his dad

TAMPA — On a sunny Wednesday morning last July at Yankee Stadium, Reds bench teach Jim Riggleman sat within the visitors’ dugout and pointed to Austin Romine at the field.

“I managed his dad in wintry weather ball,” Riggleman said. “Worked in point of fact arduous.

“I never saw him smile.”

Austin Romine, knowledgeable of Riggleman’s memory of Kevin Romine, flashed a rare smile himself.

“Like father, like son,” he stated.

If Truth Be Told, “I Feel ‘never smiled’ is a little bit of an overstatement,” Riggleman mentioned of Kevin Romine this earlier week in a phone interview, and the same goes for the Yankees’ backup catcher. Yet Austin Romine, the more youthful of two top league sons of a former major leaguer — older brother Andrew is a utility guy for the Mariners — has established a foothold in this deep Yankees roster thanks to a seriousness and perseverance that have earned him respect up and down the group. The Ones qualities helped endear him to the Yankees’ fan base, as did his participation in a prime-profile, bench-clearing brawl ultimate season.

That toughness, Romine stated, comes in large part from his father.

“He surely shaped me to the place I appreciate the game and play it hard,” he mentioned. “Just keep grinding.”

Austin Romine is held again by means of his teammates right through a brawl with the Tigers in August.Getty Images

Jody Reed, the Yankees’ field coordinator, played on the Crimson Sox with Kevin Romine and answered, “Oh, yeah,” whilst requested if he sees similarities among father and son.

“The intensity. the hearth. Even the dry humor,” Reed mentioned. “They’re very severe and take so much of pride in their occupation and their work. you’ll tell he gets that from daddy right there. definitely about it.”

Kevin Romine signed with the Sawx in 1982 upon getting decided on within the second round of the beginner draft. He served as a backup outfielder from 1985 through 1991, so Austin, born in 1988, has no memories of seeing his dad play in the massive leagues. That intended Austin grew up with his dad at house in Southern California. Kevin, who owned a storage after retiring and later joined the La Police Department, offered baseball to both Austin and Andrew (born in 1985) at younger ages and coached them till high school.

“on the time, I didn’t take a look at it as elevating massive leaguers,” Kevin Romine mentioned in a phone interview. “They both showed an inherent ability for the sport. It stored them busy. And in case you’re going to play the game, play the game correctly.”

“i used to be pointed out to admire the game and admire people who performed earlier than it,” Austin Romine stated. “Put On your hat the fitting means. Deal With your uniform correctly. Simply all of the old stuff.”

“He benched me,” Austin introduced.

Kevin, asked for the specifics behind that benching, said: “Most Definitely only a little perspective adjustment.”

The Ones courses all came in handy for Austin because the Yankees drafted him in the second spherical, just like his dad, of the 2007 draft. He skilled a few early good fortune, successful minor league participant of the year honors in 2009 and 2011, most effective to hit a wall in 2015, when the Yankees special him for challenge and located no takers.

Most Effective in 2016, when Gary Sanchez bombed his spring training audition to be Brian McCann’s backup, did Romine steer his career again within the right direction. He has confirmed to be a nice shielding supplement to Sanchez, who has struggled with his glove whilst offering huge offensive value. He also brings a few institutional wisdom, as handiest Brett Gardner (drafted in 2005) and Dellin Betances (2006) have longer steady carrier within the organization.

“I Feel I simply grew up,” Romine said. “Just take care of things i’ll regulate in preference to issues I couldn’t. Stop making excuses and take care of the job handy. Your task is backup catcher. That day you’re playing, better get it performed.”

“You provide him a disadvantage, he sees it as something to conquer,” Kevin Romine stated. “That’s in the Romine nature to not give up. … He knows his place, knows his function. He’s just right with pitchers.”

Ultimate Aug. 24 at Comerica Park, Austin found himself in an unfamiliar place: the highlight. He squared off at home plate with Tigers icon Miguel Cabrera in the first of many skirmishes at the day. The episode drew him a one-game suspension and a new degree of appreciation via fans — and a “thumbs-up” text from Kevin Romine.

“We taught our children, ‘You never get started a fight, however don’t stroll away,’ ” Kevin Romine mentioned. “He stood his ground, and whilst Miggy threw one, it’s on.”

“that occurs. It’s baseball,” Austin Romine said. “it is what it’s. you move on.”

Veteran CC Sabathia and child Jordan Montgomery both praised Romine for his game-calling abilities. Gamers together with his profile can closing a long time within the big leagues.

“In my line of work, if you seize, it’s good,” Romine said. “if you happen to hit, it’s going to be even higher. If I Will do enough with the bat to hold my weight, it is going to be an excellent career.”

And if it’s as good a 2018 season as the Yankees hope, they may generate an extended-lasting smile from all of the Romine family.

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