© Chuck Duboff
“When Josh arrived in The Peg to play for the Goldeyes, I thought that he was a competitor, liked a challenge and was a team player on the diamond, in the dugout and the club house.” Mickey Steen
Winnipeg Goldeyes Manager Rick Forney is busy piecing together his 2017 roster. A key addition was recently announced, when right fielder Josh Romanski signed on for a second season with the American Association champions. “Josh is a baseball player!” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney in the press release. “He does a lot of things really well on offence, and is an above average defender as well. I’m really pleased that he chose to play again.”
I caught up with Josh down in Orange County, California, where he is an Uber Driver, Baseball Instructor and is working out hard for the upcoming season. When I mentioned to Josh that it was a really nice -2C/28F in Winnipeg, he said: “I give you Winnipegers a lot of credit, that’s sure not for me” he said with a laugh.
Looking back on the Goldeyes playoff run and championship, Romanski singled out winning two game 5’s and knocking off St. Paul as key factors. “We just executed really well.” Winning game 5 of the championship series brought out a lot of different emotions: tired, juiced, energized, fired up…and yet, winning a lop sided final game almost fell anti-climactic. “The ring that we got from the Goldeyes is awesome; I clean it every few days.”
Josh was a fourth round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2008 Draft as a pitcher. He moved around several organizations, but was often stymied by injuries. With the Yankees in 2011, it finally came together. He went 7-6 with a 2.97 ERA in High-A and Double-A.with the Trenton Thunder of the Class-AA Eastern League But again, another injury would occur. Josh decided it was time to switch to hitting, which he felt he was better at.
Josh shared a very interesting story about his time in Double A with the Yankees. Derek Jeter was sent down to Trenton for a rehab assignment and spent three days with Josh’s team. Josh said that Jeter went out of his way to be professional and came up to Josh and said: “hi, I’m Derek.” I could hear in Josh’s voice what a special “baseball moment” that was.
I asked Josh why he’s decided to come back for another season with the Goldeyes: “I’m not ready to hang it up; I’ve been playing ball my whole life…grew up playing ball with my brothers (brother in Red Sox organization) …we’d play in games all day and then go home and play ball.” When I asked Josh who his favourite player was while growing up, there was no hesitation: “Ken Griffey Jr. that swing. Mine is a little like his, though a little flatter.
Josh told Fox News a few years ago:
“I wanted to play for the right reasons, because I always loved it,” Romanski said. “It was never about the money. Every day on the baseball field is just a blessing to be out there and play the game that I love. That’s what it was about.”
Josh loved playing in Winnipeg; “the fans, the whole staff, Sam, Andrew, Schuster…the whole 9 yards.” I then asked Romanski about the big Grand Slam…Goldeyes had been down by 8, bottom of the 10th…”coolest moment of my career; a validation of switching to hitting”
“Tell the fans I’ve got a good head of lettuce going; gotta have the flow, just like hockey.”
The Goldeyes fans can’t wait to see you back this summer Josh!!