Photography Cameron Flaisch
Kermit the Frog once sang about how it’s not easy being green. While Kermit might not love the shade of his amphibian skin, his river-dwelling cohort Romey has no issues being blue.
In fact, Romey embraces his deep shade of blue as he does all things he does each and every day in and around State Mutual Stadium and Rome.
During a typical Rome Braves game, fans can find the fun-loving soul dancing on dugouts, throwing hot dogs from the back of vehicles, hugging kids and high fiving fans before during and after games.
Many fans know the Braves drafted Romey in 2003 in time for the Rome Braves’ inaugural season, which also was a championship season, but few are aware of the mascot’s exploits on the diamond.
That is exploits involved in the game of baseball instead of chucking t-shirts or hot dogs and showing of a slew of amazing dance moves.
In fact, Romey’s time on the diamond in uniform proved so stellar that the South Atlantic League and even the Braves instituted rules to ensure visiting teams could have a fair shake.
Romey Factoid: The only time Romey took the mound; he struck out the opposing batter with one pitch. The pitch was so fast that the radar gun being held by a scout displayed the word, “ouch” and promptly blew up.
To save radar guns, scouts and batters everywhere, the Sally League immediately instituted a ban on Romey taking the mound.
Romey factoid: Romey loves playing third base but it turned into quite a dilemma for the Braves, because of the power Romey delivered with every throw to first base. First basemen had to don full hockey goalie gear to keep them safe from the thrown balls. Needless to say, the Braves decided not to leave Romey at third base to save cost on gear and to keep their first baseman from passing out during the hot summer months.
Romey Factoid: Romey once hit a game-winning, grand slam home run with the bases empty in the first inning of the game.
Romey Factoid: Romey is the Sally career leader in stealing first base.
Romey Factoid: Romey once hit a home run so far that the ball was never found. A few years later, NASA discovered it orbiting the sun and named it Neptune.
Romey Factoid: When Romey retired from playing baseball, he ended his career with a 2.000 batting average.
Romey’s exploits on the baseball diamond are so powerful that while he loved the game, he felt it was time to focus on another part of the game. A part he loves as much if not more so than the game itself – the fans.
Since then the Big Blue Barracuda (yes Romey originates from a freshwater river, but anyone who has ever seen him tear around the bases knows he moves with fluidity and vigilance of a barracuda) decided to move away from the field, he’s managed to help thousands of fans cheer on the Braves each season.
When the Braves have a 10-run lead or trail late, Romey brings the same zeal and enthusiasm to his antics as if it were game seven of the World Series.
Romey Factoid: The Sally League banned the Rome Braves from putting Romey’s face on their bats, because it terrified opposing pitchers and players and was deemed unfair for the sport.
As far as the Big Blue Barracuda himself, well Romey takes it all in stride and wakes up each day ready to root for the Rome Braves. Opposing players, managers and fans can breath easy knowing the Rome Braves’ original all-star is content to cheer from the sidelines.