ShareThis Page

Steelers QB Batch has respect through work

| Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011

Charlie Batch never knew there was such a thing as a 6 a.m. flight up until a couple months ago.

The Steelers' veteran backup quarterback quickly got familiar with early morning plane rides to New York City and Washington in his role as a member of the NFLPA's Executive Committee during the near five-month NFL labor strife.

Batch has been one of the 11 player-appointed top representatives made up of current and former players for the past four years, and worked tirelessly over the last five months alongside some of the most powerful businessmen in the world to ensure a fair deal to his fellow teammates.

The new collective bargaining agreement was finally ratified by the players Thursday, even though the Steelers were the one team that casted a no vote.

"He went through hell dealing with this stuff," 15-year veteran James Farrior said. "He had a lot of responsibility and a lot of stuff to do over that last five months. I know it was hard for him."

whether it was in New York City or Washington, Batch was front and center at every marathon meeting during the critical negotiations last month between the owners and players

"It was a busy, busy five months, let's put it that way," Batch said. "There were times that you were drained, and your body said enough is enough, and it shuts down on you. That happened a couple of times."

Batch is very involved with his Best of the Batch Foundation, especially during the summer, when he runs the largest program in his foundation, Project C.H.U.C.K, a six-week basketball league for youth in his hometown of Homestead.

The league took place during the crunch time of the labor negotiations in June and July. Still, Batch was able to be there for his foundation and even find time to attend some summer football camps held by some of his teammates, including Ryan Mundy on July 23, two days before the owners approved a new CBA.

"There were times that I had to split my time," Batch said. "I was here doing my camp, but I always want to support everybody else because the support they give me here in Pittsburgh. When it comes down to it, they understood that I had to leave, but it was tough trying please everybody."

Batch gained an interest in the financial and labor part of the game when he was in Detroit and wasn't able to participate in intellectual conversations about pension plans or even the CBA with his elder teammates.

"It caught my interest right away," Batch said.

Batch soon took on the unofficial role of player rep in Detroit behind Robert Porcher. He did the same when he came to the Steelers in 2002.

Batch was appointed Steelers players rep in '06. He then was nominated by teammate Ryan Clark two years later to be a part of the executive committee.

"You have 32 guys that have to vote for you and unanimously voted for me, from a respect factor, it means a lot," Batch said.

Farrior said: "We voted him that guy for a reason, and that's because we knew he could do the job. He has it in his blood."

So much so that teammate Willie Colon believes Batch would be a great NFLPA head in the future, a job currently held by DeMaurice Smith.

"To hear that, that means I am doing my job," Batch said. "I took my job very seriously."

Batch didn't rule out even more involvement with the NFLPA after his playing career is over.

"I'll see what happens down the line," Batch said. "Going through it gives you a different perspective. You are sitting across from the owners when you are going through this fight. It's not hearsay. You are right there and I was able to relay that to my teammates. I enjoyed that part of it."

Photo Galleries

Steelers Training Camp

Steelers Training Camp

The Steelers report to St. Vincent College for training camp

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.