Charlie Batch Nearly Lost His Super Bowl Rings During the Great Recession
Charlie Batch had one of the greatest jobs an NFL player could ask for in his later years.
The longtime backup of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Batch’s job was simple: ride the bench and cash in when the Pittsburgh Steelers competed for a Super Bowl.
As glamorous as the job was — and Batch often had opportunities to further prove his worth by filling in if Roethlisberger was out — that didn’t mean Batch went without problems.
Things got so bad in the Great Recession that Batch, while active, nearly had to part ways with his Super Bowl rings. This is his story.
Charlie Batch played 14 NFL seasons
A second-round pick of the Detroit Lions, Batch was an average quarterback in his first four seasons.
Arriving in what unknowingly turned out to be Barry Sanders’ final seasons, Batch completed 56% of his passes for 9,016 yards, 49 touchdowns, and 40 interceptions across 48 games and 46 starts. Batch also ran for 650 yards and five touchdowns on 4.5 yards per carry.
Raised less than 10 miles away from Pittsburgh, Batch returned home in 2002 and signed with the Steelers. Originally sitting behind Kordell Stewart and ex-XFL star Tommy Maddox, Batch only threw eight passes in his first three seasons with the Steelers.
Batch finally saw extended playing time in 2005, when he won both of his starts for the eventual Super Bowl champions. Batch started at least one game in each of the next two seasons and every year from 2010-12.
At his best, Batch was a serviceable backup — he went 6-3 but threw 12 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, a ratio greatly inflated by his four-interception season in 2012 — but at his worst, he reminded the Steelers why they employed Roethlisberger.
Batch ran into financial problems during the ‘Great Recession’
Charlie Batch began the 2011 calendar year off on the wrong note.
First, Pittsburgh lost in the Super Bowl to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. A few months later, Batch ran into serious financial trouble.
According to Pro Football Talk, Batch filed for bankruptcy in December 2010. The filing listed $8.3 million in liabilities and $2.3 million in assets; according to Spotrac, Batch earned $21.7 million through the 2010 season.
What went wrong? According to PFT, Batch’s real estate,”Batch Development Co. Inc., had to turn over 25 properties after defaulting on a $1.15 million mortgage.”
Charlie Batch nearly lost his Super Bowl rings as a result
Things were bad for Charlie Batch in the spring of 2011.
According to CBS 12 in Pittsburgh, Batch placed several of his personal belongings up as collateral to secure the debt. The items included both his Super Bowl rings and trophies, signed jerseys, and other sports memorabilia.
Thankfully for Batch, it seems all parties worked things out. Jim McLean, an attorney for Primerock — a secured creditor in the case — told the station they wouldn’t seize the Super Bowl rings.
Batch played two more NFL seasons and now works for the Steelers’ radio network. A 2017 story by The Undefeated referenced Batch winning the two rings, but never mentioned him selling or losing them.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.