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Canadian slugger Romak retires after 5 seasons in KBO

Jamie Romak of the SSG Landers (R) poses for pictures with the club captain Lee Jae-won during Romak's retirement ceremony inside the clubhouse at Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Saturday. (SSG Landers)
Jamie Romak of the SSG Landers (R) poses for pictures with the club captain Lee Jae-won during Romak's retirement ceremony inside the clubhouse at Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Saturday. (SSG Landers)
Jamie Romak, one of the most successful foreign hitters in South Korean baseball history, has announced his retirement after spending his final five seasons here.

The SSG Landers of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Sunday the Canadian slugger decided to call it a career following the end of the 2021 season the previous evening.

Romak, 36, batted .273 with 155 home runs and 409 RBIs in 626 games for the Landers, formerly known as the SK Wyverns under the previous ownership during Romak's first four seasons with the franchise.

Romak is ranked third on the all-time home run list for foreign players, and no foreign player spent more years with the Landers franchise than the native of London, Ontario.

A fourth-round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2003, Romak joined the then-Wyverns in the middle of the 2017 season, and made an immediate impact with 31 home runs in only 102 games.

He exploded for 43 home runs and 107 RBIs in 2018, while helping the Wyverns to the Korean Series championship.

Hobbled by injuries this year, Romak was limited to 107 games and batted .225 with 20 home runs and 52 RBIs, all of them his worst marks in the KBO.

Romak missed the final portion of the season with a neck injury while the Landers were making a postseason push. Long a popular teammate, Romak continued to travel with the team in support, and was in the dugout for the Landers' season finale Saturday night.

The Landers missed out on the postseason after losing to the KT Wiz 8-3. They still had a ceremony in the clubhouse afterward to mark Romak's career.

Romak was also a huge fan favorite in the Landers' home city of Incheon, thanks to his easy-going nature and his work in the community.

In their show of respect for Romak, the Landers said the next foreign batter for the club will don Romak's old No. 27. (Yonhap)

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