BEST OF ASN | Insuring his future, Camden 3B thinking beyond baseball career

Originally published August 10

YORK, Pa. -- He's the everyday third baseman with an everyday job.

Its debatable whether Mike Costanzo, a player for the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League, will ever make it back to the big leagues.

But now at 31, he's absolutely certain he has something to offer -- to everyone.

"Ten years ago, I would have laughed at somebody that said (to me), 'You need to think of something beyond baseball,'" said Costanzo, who played in the majors in 2012 with the Cincinnati Reds.

So along with hitting and fielding, Mike Costanzo is now pitching -- insurance.

Why insurance?

"I have no idea," replied Costanzo with a laugh.

[caption id="attachment_2783" align="alignright" width="150"] Camden Riversharks' Mike Costanzo covers all the bases at home - sponsoring foul balls through his insurance agency even while playing on the field. (Courtesy Jason Bristol)[/caption]

"Its really awesome," he added. "Its competitive and it’s a daily grind -- just like baseball."

Costanzo, the Phillies top draft choice in 2005 from Coastal Carolina, opened his own Farmers Insurance branch back in March in his hometown of Springfield, Pa.

When it comes to the day-to-day business, he already has four employees and one brilliant marketing plan.

Before playing his nine innings, Costanzo works his 9-to-5. Actually, make that 9-to-3.

"Its strange, he comes walking into the clubhouse in a suit and tie," said Riversharks manager Chris Widger. "You can't picture him in a suit and tie to begin with.

"His phone...he's on the phone half the time in the clubhouse."

Yes, Costanzo is the talk of the team.

While his batting average isn't what he'd like it to be (.223 in 51 games), that marketing plan of his is a home run.

At the Riversharks' stadium in Camden, N.J., foul balls are sponsored by Mike's insurance agency, which offers auto, home and life insurance.

"Now, are you fouling off pitches just to get mentions?' asked CBS 21 News Sports Director Jason Bristol, during Costanzo's recent trip to York.

"No, I'm not," said Costanzo. "But  lately I've been fouling off quite a bit."

Its also nice to the know that honesty is Mike Costanzo's best policy.

On the cover: Mike Costanzo is keeping his day job selling insurance while trying to make his way back to the big leagues (Courtesy Jason Bristol)

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