Keeping up with the Great Lake Canadians as he continues his professional career around the globe, Jamie Romak brings an array of experience from the major leagues, foreign professional leagues, and the national team to the program as an infield and hitting instructor.
The native of London, Ontario played North London baseball and hockey growing up, before moving onto the Badgers and AAA Junior Knights programs. He was a fourth-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 2003 draft out of A.B. Lucas Secondary School, the highest-ever pick from a London high school until Great Lake infielder Adam Hall was selected in the second round from Lucas this year.
Romak began his professional career out of high school and in 2007 he played in the Hawaii Winter League, and represented Canada at the World Cup. In 2008, he played in the prestigious, prospect-laden Arizona Fall League, representing the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
In 2010, the utility player represented his home and native land at the Pan Am Qualifier, where he was named Most Valuable Player among a pool of players that included Mike Trout, Eric Hosmer, Todd Frazier, Mike Moustakas, Jose Abreu, and more. For his performance that year, he also earned Baseball Canada’s Senior National Team Most Valuable Player award.
The following season, he was a member of Canada’s first senior squad to win a gold medal, doing so at the Pan Am Games in Mexico just after winning bronze at the World Cup in Panama. He, along with his teammates, was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for his efforts.
In 2014, he made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers, also receiving Baseball Canada’s Special Achievement Award. The following year he played in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks, was named a Pacific Coast League mid-season and post-season all-star, and tied a franchise record at the time for home runs, with 27, and broke the then-RBI record with 100.
After a season with the Yokohama Baystars in Japan last year, Romak began this year in the red-and-white uniform once again, playing for Canada at the World Baseball Classic in Miami, Florida. He then joined the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres, and was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Month for April, tied for the lead among all of baseball with 11 home runs, and driving in 25 runs.
In May, he joined the SK Wyverns in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he tied the league record with six multi-homer games in a single season – after playing in another league for an entire month. Between El Paso and Korea, Romak hit 42 long balls this season. Next year, he is excited to return to the Wyverns for a second season.
His career is highlighted by his first major league call-up, his first big league hit – a two-RBI double – and being one of five players from the Canadian Junior National Team in 2002 to have since played in the majors.
Romak has a vested interest in Canadian baseball, and is a proud member of the Baseball Canada fraternity. He follows the next generation of players closely, and is really impressed with the quality of players coming up.
With the Great Lake Canadians program, he wants to help liberate talent. He understands that he and the other staff members are in a unique position to identify kids who have the skillset needed to reach their baseball goals and believes that their responsibility to help cultivate that talent is an exciting challenge, and it is one that he embraces.
One of Romak’s favourite times of the year is around the Christmas holidays, when all the Great Lake alumni return home, and come back to Centrefield Sports. He believes that it has quickly become a group of players that love being around each other, which is the culture that he and the staff are striving for.
Beyond the diamond, he is a husband to Kristin and father to son Nash.