Back in 2013, Hannibal Cavemen shortstop Mattingly Romanin made national headlines for a heads up play on the ballfield. Perhaps you remember it.

Yep, that’s the one.

“It was definitely a unique feeling,” Romanin says. “Nowadays every kid wants to be famous and wants to be a star in a YouTube video. I was just hoping my video would have been for my baseball talent, not my misfortune. But it's out there and looking back I always find it a bit more comical every time.”

So what has Mattingly been up to since his viral summer in Hannibal? The Chicago State alumnus and Ontario native was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 39th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft. He made his minor league debut later that year with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League. In 29 games, the utility infielder recorded a .979 fielding percentage at second and .850 at third while batting .161 with a double, triple, and five RBIs in 117 plate appearances.

“My experience in the minors so far has been great. Growing up around baseball gave me some knowledge of what the grind is like and that is definitely what it is, a grind,” Romanin says. “At the end of the day, I am getting paid to play the game I love which has always been a dream of mine.”

Just last week, Romanin was assigned to the Vancouver Canadians—the Blue Jays’ Northwest League A-Ball affiliate where in his only game thus far, he went 1 for 3 with two walks.

Mattingly Romanin
Twitter (@mromanin2)

So what does the big league hopeful have to say about his playing days in America’s Hometown?

"Hannibal was my first summer ball experience away from home and I could not have asked for a better experience. From the facilities to the staff of the organization was first class. It was also my first time staying with a host family so I was a bit nervous but my host family, Mike and Sandy Copenhaver, brought me in as if I was one of their sons and I can't thank them enough for that."

And what about this skydiver incident?

“Many of my friends have made it their duty to make sure I never forget it.”

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