The Perfect Catch: Glovin’ it
Introducing Iravan Bhattacharyya, senior and co-captain of the varsity baseball team!
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Name: Iravan Bhattacharyya
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Date of Birth: January 7, 2005
1. When and how did you start playing baseball? How long have you been on the Peglegs, the Stuyvesant varsity baseball team?
I started playing baseball when I was about eight years old. My dad was the first one to really introduce me to the sport. He would always play wiffle ball with me as a kid, and he realized my hand-eye coordination was somewhat decent. By the time I enrolled at Stuyvesant, I had been playing travel baseball for many years, and I knew Stuy Baseball was a team I wanted to join.
2. What position do you play? What skills/strengths are involved?
I am a primary pitcher and a secondary outfielder. Being a pitcher, it’s necessary to have strong legs, a strong core, and be flexible. The motion of pitching is very unnatural to the human body and it’s therefore imperative to always take care of yourself as a pitcher. It is also important to be mentally tough and very focused. As a pitcher, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in stressful situations, and the best pitchers are the ones who can execute in the most uncomfortable spots.
3. Do you have a most memorable/proud moment with the Peglegs?
One of the most memorable moments with Stuyvesant baseball has to be our quarterfinal game against Cardozo High School. We were losing 3-0 into the seventh inning. I was the first batter in the inning, and I hit a ball to right field and got out. After my at-bat, the rest of the lineup rallied to put up eight runs in the top of the seventh, making the score 8-3. My words do not do this moment justice. It was an incredible feat that was symbolic of our team’s grit, camaraderie, and potential.
4. Tell us about your team’s pre-season trip to Florida.
For the past four years, the week that I get to go to Florida with the team has been the most anticipated week of my year. During each mid-winter recess, our coach takes both the JV and varsity teams down to Port St. Lucie, Florida for a week of baseball and hanging out in the warm Florida weather. We get to stay in rooms with our teammates and live a relatively independent life. Every morning of the week, we have practice at this beautiful baseball complex near our lodging, and a couple days out of the week we have games that we play against local Floridian teams or any other team visiting the area. All the time in between is filled with eating, playing, and hanging out with friends.
5. What impact does your coaching team have on the team?
Our coaching staff is incredible. First off, our head coach is John Carlesi. I would pay an unfathomable amount of money to anyone who can find me a coach who cares more about his kids than Coach Carlesi. First of all, by the time our season starts, Coach Carlesi makes sure that our team has had more practices than arguably any other team in the city. Throughout the whole school year, we have weekly practices and, on top of that, Coach always makes himself available to us to take a couple more swings at the batting cages with him or work on anything we need to. On top of that, the only reason our team has our Florida trip is Coach Carlesi. He puts in countless hours every year to make sure that our Florida trip runs smoothly and efficiently and that we get an experience that not many other people can say they’ve had. A true tribute to Coach’s effect on his players is the number of alumni that make the effort to stay in touch with him. Every year our team has alumni events, and the amount of people that come just to say hi and reconnect with Coach is astounding. The baseball staff is otherwise made up of Coach Thomas Durante, Coach Jimmy Wendt, and Coach Vito. All of these men are great students of the game and are even greater people. The coaching team is the very core of all of our successes.
6. Do you have any plans to continue the sport in the future or in college?
I will attempt to walk on to the baseball team at my future school. If that does not work out, club or intramural baseball is always an option.
7. Do you have any pregame superstitions or rituals?
As a team, we do a chant before every game. Personally, I do not have any superstitions, other than to never step on the foul lines and to never mess up the infield dirt before the game actually starts.
8. What is your jersey number? What made you decide that number?
My jersey number is 18. I chose this number because it kind of looks like my initials (IB) and it was also the number on the first jersey I ever wore when I joined my first baseball team when I was eight.
9. What are the best and worst parts of baseball?
One of the best parts of baseball is how dramatic it is. It is not a sport characterized by constant action; instead, it consists of great moments that change the entire trajectory of the game. It calls on its players to show up in the big moments, and it gives them a chance to shine for themselves and for their teammates. On that note, the other best part about baseball is how team-oriented it is. A baseball game cannot be won by one person. It requires all of a team’s assets (their pitchers, fielders, and hitters) to work harmoniously in order to win a game. Due to the nature of the sport, baseball allows its players to form a bond with each other unlike any other.
Funniest Teammate: Peter Carini
Favorite Professional Baseball Player: Aaron Judge
Favorite MLB Team: New York Yankees
Playing on Full or Light Stomach: Light
Favorite Sports Drink: Orange Vitamin Water
Favorite Post-Match Snack: Kraft Mac and Cheese
Favorite Hobby: Eating
If You Could Play One Other Sport: Ultimate Frisbee
Motto to Live By: Go big or go home.
Fun Fact: I used to be a theater kid.
Shoe Brand: Nike
Baseball or Cricket: Baseball (sorry motherland)