First let me say, this is baseball. “You win some you lose some.” That phrase is usually reserved to the game play itself. Today I want to use it to talk about the loss of a player.

 Second let me say that what I am saying here is simply my perspective as an Otters fan and as a proud mother.

 This year we became members of the Otters Booster Club. As part of that membership, we attended the pre-game picnic where we were introduced to the team and staff of the Evansville Otters. At that picnic the host families sat with their new players. Some of the players did not have families yet, and a few had families that could not attend due to work. We were fortunate enough to have several players sit at our table. They laughed and played with my children like they had been best buddies forever.

Over his short season, my children developed a respect for one of those players: #25 Carlos Romero. In the exhibition game he made an astonishing catch. The kids beamed, proud to know such a player. After the game, they held to tradition and ran the bases. They skipped the rest of the team and ran straight for him.

We could not be a host family this year due to space issues, but we “adopted him.” We took him to eat dinner one day before a road trip. He graciously listened to my children yammer on and on. He answered all the questions. He was kind a courteous and respectful to everyone we encountered.

More than that he was a team advocate. He encouraged the wait staff to come watch the team, talked up the history of the ball park and was proud to be an Otter.  

My boys looked up to him, more as a person than a player, but as both. They insisted that we go to Sam’s to get him snacks for the road. They packed a few goodie bags with enough supplies to last him the trip, if rationed well. When we gave them to him, he looked in the bags and said “Oh good there is enough for me to share.”

During that away game two major things happened. #1 Carlos broke a bat. #2 Carlos almost broke his hand. He came home on the injured list.

That first game back we came to the field, hand drawn get well bag in hand. He said to Eric (my  6 year old) “I brought you something too!” He went into the dugout and came out with a bat all taped up.  It was the bat that he broke. He had taped it up and brought it home for Eric. He signed it for him and he went into the stands beaming.

The day after Carlos came off the injured list, he was released from the team. We all cried. This is by far not the first player we have watched go. Some we knew were the right decision, some we wondered about and figured that the trade must have been worth it. This is the first time I have really asked “why?”

I am a social media strategist. I help companies build brand advocates. I help with customer service and PR, I help with that and much more under the guise of social media.  I usually encourage people start building brand advocates from within.

So here is my take on Carlos. 

From what we saw of him during his time with the Evansville Otters, he appeared to be a good player. Due to circumstances he was not really given the opportunity to showcase his ability.

But that aside, he is a heck of a brand advocate. He loves what he does, and it shows. He loved working for the Otters, and he told the world through his facebook, and through his interactions with the community, on and off the field.

When we went to the bank, my son would see the Otters schedule and would tell anyone within earshot how great the Otters were and all about the “best player, my friend, #25 Carlos Romero.”

In talking to him about what was next for the outfielder, he was determined to continue playing ball.

Because he was a brand advocate for the Otters, he created other brand advocates. That is a priceless value to any team. He loves baseball; he loves kids; he loves community.  Add to that my opinion that he is a good player, and you have a good package deal.

I can’t do much for him right now. I offered money. He was not as concerned with money (Even though I knew he was struggling to buy his ticket home.) He was concerned about some kids he had coached, and promised more play time / lessons. He is truly a gentleman with character.

So here is what I can do: If you believe in “America’s Game” please repost, retweet, share, digg, or whatever. Help me share the news that there is a player for hire that will be more than an asset to any team.

 

  Carlos Bats/Throws: L/L HT:5’10” WT: 190
A full information sheet can be found here if you are interested in his stats.

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