Saturday, January 23, 2010

Final Card: Johnny Romano

Johnny Romano (#196) was a catcher in the 1960s, mostly for the White Sox and Indians.

Romano was signed by the White Sox in 1954, and played in their minor-league system for 5 years. His major-league debut came in September 1958, when he played 4 games for the White Sox.

In 1959, Johnny started 34 games, as the backup to Sherm Lollar. After the season, he was traded to the Indians with first baseman Norm Cash for catcher Dick Brown, outfielder Minnie Minoso, and 2 other players.

In 1960, Romano started 88 games behind the plate, more than 3 times as many starts as any of the other 3 catchers used that season. In '61 and '62, he had a better grip on the starter's job, starting 140 and 128 games during those seasons.

Romano and Joe Azcue (acquired from Kansas City early in 1963) shared the starting job for the 1963 and 1964 seasons. At the close of the 1964 season, Johnny went back to the White Sox as part of a 3-team, 8-player deal:

Rocky Colavito - Athletics to Indians
Cam Carreon - White Sox to Indians

Tommie Agee - Indians to White Sox
Tommy John - Indians to White Sox
Johnny Romano - Indians to White Sox

Mike Hershberger - White Sox to Athletics
Jim Landis - White Sox to Athletics
Fred Talbot - White Sox to Athletics

Romano was the undisputed starting catcher for the Sox during 1965 and 1966. After the season, he was traded to the Cardinals for pitcher Don Dennis and outfield prospect Walt "No-Neck" Williams. Although he stuck around all season, Johnny only played in 24 games during his 10th and final season.

Well, that wraps up the 1967 cards for veterans with 10 or more years who retired in the late 1960s. (I still have another week to go on the 1968 blog.) You can see the entire list here.

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