Q&A with Author Stephen Costello
August 9, 2014 — Stephen Costello is an executive vice president at Steiner Sports, a leading sports marketing and memorabilia company, and a long-time partner of the New York Yankees. Costello recently wrote the book, “My Father Never Took Me To A Baseball Game,” which details his childhood with an abusive father. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. I recently sat down with Costello, who I have worked with for several years, to discuss his life and his new book.
–Alfred Santasiere III
Alfred Santasiere III: How would you describe a typical day with your father when you were growing up?
Stephen Costello: He was a truck driver. So, he would go somewhere to pick the truck up, be in the truck all day, and then at night, he was very gruff and very belligerent. The way he talked to everyone, including me, was definitely a hit on our confidence. Once I was a little older — around 12 years old — I would just leave out the back door when I saw his car in the driveway. I would go to my friends’ houses where the type of tension that existed in our house didn’t exist.
AS: Did you ever talk to anyone outside your home about your father?
SC: No. It was a different time back then. People really didn’t say anything about what was going on in their homes back then. I was scared to say anything or tell anybody so I just counted the days until I was old enough to get out of the house.
AS: How were you able to re-establish your confidence amid the negative and abusive behavior of your father?
SC: There were certain things, that regardless of what my dad said, I knew I was a good at. I was a good baseball player. I knew I was a good student. I knew I was a good writer. Maybe he said some things because he didn’t want me to become a truck driver like he was, but I knew from a very young age that I was not going to be a truck driver. I was pretty certain of that. Once I got to a certain mental level, I didn’t let anything he said or did affect me.
AS: You talked about it being a different time now as opposed to when you were growing up. Please speak to the progress our society in the United States has made in raising awareness for domestic abuse and limiting it.
SC: It’s definitely not tolerated. Today, there’s a much-heightened awareness to abuse. It’s very hard for a parent to get away with it for a substantial amount of time without a neighbor, a teacher or a friend finding out about it and speaking up. In the 1960’s and ’70s, the mindset was “mind your own business,” and that was wrong in every way.
AS: Tell me how writing the book, “My Father Never Took Me To A Baseball Game” has affected you from an emotional standpoint?
SC: The point of the book is that if you’re abused as a child, you should try to minimize it. You should try to escape the situation, and you should understand that it doesn’t have to ruin your life and you certainly should not pass it on to the next generation. After I wrote the book, I have had so many people tell me what happened to them. It’s not something that any of us are proud of, but writing the book really let me get out from under it.