November 22, 1955 |
|June 9, 1982 for the Cleveland Indians|
Last MLB appearance
|June 5, 1984 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||3|
Kevin Jay Rhomberg (born November 22, 1955 in Dubuque, Iowa) is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball. He was selected by the Cleveland Indians of the American League in the 14th round of the 1977 amateur draft, and made his major league debut on June 9, 1982. While Rhomberg's career consisted of just 41 games (his final game was on June 5, 1984) he batted an impressive .383 with an on-base percentage of .423. Not known for his defense, Rhomberg was considered primarily an outfielder, although he did log one start each at first, second, and third base during his brief career. As a player, however, Rhomberg was known not just for his hitting, but also for his long list of superstitions. His main superstition (technically a compulsion) was the need to touch back someone who had just touched him.
Kevin Rhomberg was born and raised in Dubuque where his father worked for a meatpacking company. He played both basketball and baseball in high school and led his baseball team to the school’s first state championship. It was during high school that he met Denice, now his wife of 33 years. Together they have four children and two grandchildren.
In 1974, Kevin attended Lewis University in Illinois where he was a part of the NAIA World Series Championship Baseball Team. In 1976 he transferred to the College of Saint Francis where he was selected in the 1977 draft by the Cleveland Indians. Kevin Rhomberg played professional baseball from 1977 through 1985 including three years with the Cleveland Indians Major League Club in 1982, 1983 and 1984.
Cleveland teammates, including former Major League player and manager Mike Hargrove, called Rhomberg, "Touch Me, Touch Me," and it is reported that opposing players and teammates, loved nothing more than to touch Rhomberg and then run off, sending him into a near panic. According to one story, former Indian teammate Rick Sutcliffe once reached under a bathroom stall to touch Rhomberg on the toe. Not knowing who the culprit was, Rhomberg went around the clubhouse and touched each player. Brook Jacoby once told of tagging Rhomberg with a ball in the minors, then throwing it out of the stadium. Jacoby said that Rhomberg spent two hours looking for the ball before finding it. An umpire once halted play during a game in New York to tell Yankees players to stop touching Rhomberg. If a person somehow eluded his return touch, Rhomberg would send a letter that said, "This constitutes a touch." 
Following his playing career, Kevin Rhomberg entered the insurance business in 1986, then scouted for the Cleveland Indians from 1987 through 1991. From 1992 through 1996 he was the Head Baseball Coach at Cleveland State University, followed by Head Baseball Coach at Lakeland Community College from 1997 through 2001. Since then he has owned, operated, and consulted the purchases of minor league baseball clubs.
- Morris, Phillip (4 April 2014). "The raging politics of a hat consumes this baseball town: Phillip Morris". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Kevin Rhomberg for Lake County Clerk of Courts Website
- Sports Illustrated feature on Kevin Rhomberg of the 1981 Chattanooga Lookouts