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Racaniello with the Mets in 2016
|New York Mets – No. 57|
|Catcher / Bullpen Catcher|
|Born: June 3, 1978|
Racaniello played baseball at Westhill High School, including time as a catcher. He later went on to play baseball for Norwalk Community College for two years, where he was teammate of future MLB pitcher Érik Bédard. In 1998, Racaniello's team at Norwalk won the NJCAA Division III Baseball World Series. Afterwards, Racaniello transferred to Central Connecticut State University, where he also played baseball.
In the summer of 1997, Racaniello, then still a student at Norwalk, attended a Mets game with a friend. His friend's father was friends with the Mets' then-Manager, Bobby Valentine, giving Racaniello and his friend an opportunity to meet the New York skipper before the game. The Mets' regular bullpen catcher at the time was not able to come to the game due to a recent family emergency, so Valentine, who had heard Racaniello had caught, asked him if he was willing to fill in. Racaniello agreed, and suited up as a Met for the first time. Racaniello would then fill in as the Mets' bullpen catcher and help out in the bullpen for most of the remainder of the 1997 season, until he returned to Norwalk. After his part-time success with the organization, when the position opened up for the 2001 season, the Mets asked Racaniello if he was interested in the job. Racaniello accepted and immediately dropped out of school to serve as the bullpen catcher for the Mets. Racaniello originally planned to possibly return to school, but his continued employment with the Mets prevented such a return. Since 2001, Racaniello has continuously served as bullpen catcher for the Mets, warming up pitchers as well as throwing batting practice and serving as a "dummy" in drills. On March 30, 2017, Racaniello led off for the Mets' major league squad at designated hitter in a game against the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, an affiliate of the Mets. Racaniello recorded a hit off of Jacob deGrom, but was thrown out attempting to steal second base by Travis d'Arnaud.
Racaniello prefers to remain somewhat silent in the Mets clubhouse, reading books and staying out of the way. He is close friends with third baseman David Wright, who first met him before the 2004 season. Racaniello is physically active, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2012 and run the New York City Marathon twice. In 2011, Racaniello consumed 14 cheesesteaks to break Dmitri Young's record for most consumed in the Philadelphia Phillies visiting clubhouse. In 2016 his engagement to his longtime girlfriend, a St. Louis native, was announced on the scoreboard at Busch Stadium.
- "Coaches: Dave Racaniello". New York Mets.
- "Dave Racaniello Baseball Stats". The Baseball Cube.
- "NJCAA Division III Baseball World Series". Baseball-Reference.
- "The Legend that is Dave Racaniello". Daily Stache.
- "New York Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello is jack of all trades, master of being invisible". NJ.com.
- Adam Rubin. "Light Moment: Rac Sets Record". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012.