Julio Romero

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Julio Romero Socarras

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Biographical Information[edit]

Julio Romero was 15-1 in international competition.

Romero first led the Cuban Serie Nacional in a department with the Vegueros in 1972-1973, when he led in hit batsmen (12) and walks (71, tied with two other hurlers). He debuted for the Cuban national team in the 1973 Amateur World Series, going 3-0 and allowing no earned runs in 24 innings. He tied for the event lead in wins and led in ERA as Cuba won a Gold Medal. He was named the All-Star right-handed pitcher.

Julio led the 1973-1974 Serie Nacional with 160 strikeouts and 12 sacrifice hits. He walked 69, tying Orlando Figueredo for the lead. He was 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in the 1974 Central American and Caribbean Games; his loss came to the Puerto Rican national team and would be his sole defeat on the international stage. It was Cuba's lone loss of the tournament as they won the Gold. He had the highest ERA on a staff with a 0.62 ERA. Romero fanned 85 for Pinar del Río in the 1975 Selective Series to lead the league. He had a 1-0, 2.08 record in the 1975 Pan American Games.

Romero was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in the 1976 Amateur World Series, clearly his worst ERA in an international tourney; Cuba won Gold. He rebounded to go 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in the 1978 Amateur World Series. In his lone outing, he fanned 11 and allowed only four hits in nine innings of work. His 10 complete games for Pinar del Río led the 1980 Selective Series. The veteran went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in the 1980 Amateur World Series.

In the 1981 Intercontinental Cup, Julio went 2-0 as Cuba settled for a Silver Medal with a loss to Team USA in the finale. In 1981-1982, Romero starred for the Forestales, with a Serie Nacional-best 1.45 ERA. His 12 complete games tied for the league lead. In the Selective Series that year, he led in wins at 11-2.

Romero won the other two legs of the pitching Triple Crown in the next Selective Series; in 1983, he had the most strikeouts (109) and best ERA (1.67). He also threw a no-hitter on March 9. It was his last season leading the league in any area. He was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA in the 1983 Intercontinental Cup as Cuba took the Gold; he led his second international event in ERA.

The 33-year-old right-hander was the winning pitcher in the Cuban All-Star Game for the 1983-1984 Serie Nacional. He remained a stalwart for the national team in the 1984 Amateur World Series, going 3-0 with a save and a 2.05 ERA in his fifth Amateur World Series, all of them won by Cuba. He allowed only 15 hits in 30 2/3 innings while whiffing 38. He led the Series in whiffs by one over Katsuo So of Taiwan. He also tied for third in wins, trailing Julio Moya and Hiroshi Nagatomi by one.

He was 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup.

In 15 seasons in Cuba, Romero went 148-100 with 13 saves, a 2.31 ERA and .214 opponent average. Through 2009, he ranked 8th in post-1962 Cuban history in complete games (162), tied for 7th with 36 shutouts (even with José R. Riscart) and 12th in strikeouts (1,678).

Romero later was pitching coach for Pinar del Río, Granma and the Industriales. He also coached for the Italian national team in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, 1998 Baseball World Cup and 2000 Olympics.

Primary Sources[edit]