Twice in 35 days, Mike Costanzo Jr.'s world was shaken.
A top prospect in the Phillies' minor-league system, he was traded, and then traded again.
Costanzo, 24, a Glen Mills resident and graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, was sent to the Houston Astros on Nov. 7. He received the news when he was playing in the Arizona Fall League. The Astros dealt him Dec. 12 to the Baltimore Orioles.
"I was totally surprised," Costanzo said when Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called him and told him he'd been traded.
Then, former Phillies general manager Ed Wade, now the Astros' GM, called Costanzo and told him how much he liked him. But Wade had to part with Costanzo in the deal with the Orioles.
"He told me I was the key part of the trade, that they wouldn't do it unless I was a part of the deal," said Costanzo, who plays third base.
Costanzo was drafted by Philadelphia in 2005 and had a chance to see his boyhood dream of playing for the Phillies come true.
"Believe me, my time with Philadelphia was awesome, but my goal has always been to make the major leagues, and what team I do it with doesn't matter," he said. "You learn that this is a business and take it in stride."
Rhonda Costanzo, his mother, said she was "a little shocked" the first time her son was traded.
"It was a little sad," she said, "because he wanted to play for the Phillies and at Citizens Bank Park. He was taken aback by it. For the second time, he was shocked, too, but he was a little more excited about Baltimore because he knew we'd be closer."
Costanzo said the Orioles called him and told him that in spring training he would play with the major-league team. Only top prospects get that invitation. And he also knows at least one player in the Baltimore system, catcher Ben Davis, who graduated from Malvern Prep. Davis and Costanzo occasionally see each other when they work out at a baseball academy in West Chester.
It was also a whirlwind time for Costanzo's parents.
"Ed Wade called my husband to say he'd acquired Mike Jr., and then my husband called me while Ed Wade was calling Mike," Rhonda Costanzo said.
While both parents were just as stunned as their son when he was traded each time, the best part of the deals for them is that their son will be playing fairly close to home. He likely will play with the Orioles' triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Va. The Phillies' triple-A affiliate in Allentown is in the same league.
Last year, when Costanzo played for the double-A Reading Phillies, his father, Mike Sr., saw all 71 home games; his mother missed only one game. They also saw him play in the Arizona Fall League.
"We were looking at the schedule, and we're probably going to do all the home weekend games in Norfolk," Rhonda Costanzo said. "As for [games in] Allentown, we'll do as many as we can get to."