SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A familiar face is back at Giants' camp.
Sergio Romo, the last active member of the Core Four relievers who helped San Francisco win three World Series championships in 2010, ‘12 and ‘14, signed a Minor League contract on Saturday that will allow him to retire as a Giant, putting a bow on his decorated 15-year career in the Majors.
The plan is for the 40-year-old Romo to appear in a couple of exhibition games, including a final chance to pitch in front of the home crowd during the Giants’ March 27 spring finale against the A’s at Oracle Park.
Before “El Mechón” gets a well-deserved swan song, let’s take a look back at Romo’s top five moments with the Giants:
1: The Miguel Cabrera strikeout
Romo delivered one of the most famous pitches in Giants history, freezing Cabrera -- the Triple Crown winner -- with an 89 mph fastball to seal a sweep of the Tigers in the 2012 World Series.
After Marco Scutaro singled home Ryan Theriot to put the Giants ahead, 4-3, in the top of the 10th inning, Romo took the mound and struck out Austin Jackson and Don Kelly to bring up Cabrera. The undersized right-hander threw Cabrera five straight sliders -- his signature pitch -- before stunning him with a fastball down the middle, displaying the fearlessness that fueled his improbable rise from a 28th-round Draft pick to a key member of the Giants’ bullpen for nearly a decade.
2: The 12-pitch battle with Jay Bruce
Romo’s other iconic at-bat also came during the Giants’ 2012 playoff run, when he won a prolonged standoff with Bruce in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Reds.
With a pair of runners on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bruce -- a three-time All-Star who bashed 34 home runs for Cincinnati during the regular season -- strode to the plate and proceeded to foul off six two-strike pitches before finally lifting a full-count slider to left field. Romo then struck out Scott Rolen on five pitches to finish off a remarkable comeback by the Giants, who won three consecutive road games to erase a 2-0 series deficit and secure a berth in the NL Championship Series.
"Yeah, we were down, but we were never really out of it,” Romo said afterward. “We never hung our heads. We knew that if we stuck together, we could win this.”
3: Speaking his mind
The son of Mexican immigrants, Romo made a statement during the Giants’ 2012 World Series parade, donning a provocative t-shirt that read, “I Just Look Illegal.” Romo, who grew up about 30 miles north of the United States-Mexico border in Brawley, Calif., drew praise from immigration activists on Twitter and later extolled the Bay Area’s multiculturalism while addressing the crowd at Civic Center Plaza.
"Look at the diversity ... the different faces from different places, the different strokes," Romo said. "We all had one, how do you say, dream. ... You should be proud. ... I am very proud."
4: The Romo Bombs
While he was a fierce competitor on the mound, Romo showed off his goofier side by frequently photobombing journalists who were doing live television hits from the Giants dugout during games. Romo crashed plenty of Amy Gutierrez’s hits, but he also pulled the schtick on a few national broadcasters, including Erin Andrews and Tom Verducci.
5: Telenovela star
Ever the entertainer, Romo also starred in a series of hilarious Giants commercials inspired by Latin American telenovelas. In “Mi Amor,” a melodramatic Romo discusses his passion for baseball with Buster Posey, who sheds fake tears while delivering his lines in Spanish. The duo reprised their roles in “Mi Amor Dos,” which also featured a mustachioed Javier López.