Persistent Romo beat odds to become big leaguer

Persistent Romo beat odds to become big leaguer

Sergio Romo
Hometown: Brawley, Calif.

Sergio Romo's arrival in the Majors was an unlikely one.

First, there was nearly tragedy.

When Romo was a sophomore in high school, he rode BMX bikes. He had saved up $400 from his paper route to buy the bike. One day during the baseball season -- during which he pitched a no-hitter and a one-hitter -- he came out of a flip on his bike and landed on his head. He had a bad concussion and broke his collarbone. He was airlifted to a trauma center, where doctors at first thought he was paralyzed. 

For five days, he was in and out of consciousness. He recovered but couldn't play the rest of the season.

Then there was the whole height problem.

After high school, he received no offers from four-year schools. His size at the time -- 5-feet-7 -- scared coaches off. 

His father was worried enough about Romo's maturity and focus that he urged him to join the Navy after high school. Romo took the entrance test and had the enlistment papers in front of him, but he couldn't sign. He convinced his father to let him try a year at community college.

Good call.

Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.