1-on-1: Looking back on Mike Costanzo's journey

Matt Leon
August 09, 2019 - 4:00 am

Matt Leon/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mike Costanzo is a Springfield, Delaware County native who was a star baseball player at Archbishop Carroll High School.

After a fine college career at Coastal Carolina University, Costanzo was the 65th overall pick in 2005, taken by the Phils in the second round. He looks back at the day he was introduced at a press conference at Citizens Bank Park.

"We're walking out of the house and my mom's like, 'You've got to bring the jacket we brought you home in from the hospital when you were born.' It was a little mini-Phillies jacket. I was like, 'Seriously?' I just want to get down there and she's like, 'It'll be awesome.' So I got it."

Fast forward to the start of the press conference.

"I just was up there and the first question was like, 'How was it to be drafted by your hometown team?' So, I whipped out the little Phillies jacket and when I tell you the sound of flashing and pictures taken, I was just blown away," Costanzo said. 

Costanzo moved up quickly in the Phillies minor league system after being drafted — he hit 27 home runs for Double A Reading in 2007 - but following the season, he was traded to the Astros in the deal that brought Brad Lidge to Philadelphia. 

Soon after, the Astros sent him to the Orioles in a separate deal. From there, he eventually landed in the Reds organization and in May 2012 at the age of 28, he got the news he'd waited his whole life to hear.

"(Former Phillie) David Bell, who is now my manager in Triple-A, calls me in the office, I'm not thinking anything of it, it's just funny how everything works. He closes the door and he's crying, because we had been though a lot together the last couple of years, and he said, 'You're going to the big leagues.' I was like, 'You're kidding me, right?' So we had an awkward hug for about a good minute of just embracing each other and celebrating via tears."

He'd spent almost a month in the big leagues, getting his first and only major league hit at Yankee Stadium.

You can listen to the entire interview with Mike Costanzo by checking out my podcast, "1-on-1 with Matt Leon." Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.