TROY, N.Y. – The ValleyCats bat boy’s pregame routine is one of the most intense on the team.
A bat boy in baseball is responsible for picking up bats after a player hits, grabbing foul balls that land on the field of play, and bringing them back to the dugout.
It’s a job that seems relatively easy, but the Tri-City ValleyCats’ bat boy has changed the team’s perception of the position forever.
Charlie Constantino runs the stadium stairs an hour and a half before game time. Then he does resistance training with a parachute on the field.
“I just want to be the best at what I do” he said.
Constantino doesn’t pitch or hit, but he’s an integral part of the team.
“They asked me to bat boy,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Sure, why not?’ and the rest is history now.”
Constantino quickly gained a reputation for being the quickest and hardest working bat boy the team had ever seen, and it eventually led to his nickname.
“Actually, it was Roger Clemens of all people, back in 2005 when his son Koby was drafted and came up here in August,” Constantino explained. “He came up here for a few games, and he saw me sprinting up and down the lines your Charlie Hustle.”
The nickname stuck as Charlie hustled to get every bat and every foul ball on the field fulfilling his dream of being a part of a professional ball club.
“Baseball has been my entire life, and it’s like whatever keeps me in baseball,” he said. “I may never have the talent level to play professionally, so why not be as long in the game as I possibly can do this – what I love.”
Constantino is in his tenth season as the Cats bat boy, and he admits he’s contemplating retiring in the next few years. But until he officially hangs it up, he plans to be on the field “hustling” at every ValleyCats game.