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Christopher Robert Coste (born February 4, 1973 in Fargo, North Dakota) is an author and Major League Baseball catcher who is currently a free agent. Coste was on a Major League Baseball team for the first time in his career at age 33.
After attending Fargo South High School, Coste went to Kishwaukee College for 1 year, a Division II college, but later left. He then attended classes and played baseball for Concordia College, a Division III school in Minnesota, where he was a three-time All-American. He started his professional career in 1995 playing for Brainerd, Minnesota in the independent North Central League. When the league folded in July he joined the Brandon Grey Owls in the independent Prairie League. From 1996 to 1999, he played four seasons for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the independent Northern League.
In 2000, Coste signed with the Cleveland Indians organization, having gotten significant playing with then Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons. He spent 2003 with the Boston Red Sox organization and 2004 in the Milwaukee Brewers system. Coste first signed with the Phillies in 2005, spending the entire season with their Triple-A affiliate, then known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.
He remained with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until his promotion to the Phillies, facilitated by his fantastic performance in 2006 spring training. After starting the 2007 season in Triple-A, Coste was called back up to the majors on May 12, 2007.
On May 25, 2007, Ryan Howard was re-activated off the DL and the Phillies sent Coste back to the minors to Double-A Reading. Coste chose to go to Reading so that he could start and play every day, and because it would help the club if he was ready, rather than being Jason Jaramillo's backup at Triple-A Ottawa. In late June 2007, Coste was called back up from Reading as a result of Jon Lieber's season-ending injury and Jayson Werth's wrist injury. Coste finished the 2007 season with a .278 batting average, 5 home runs, and 22 RBI in 48 games.
For the 2008 season, Coste was slated as the Phillies' backup catcher behind Carlos Ruiz. In a game against the Mets on August 26, 2008, Coste went 4 for 4 without even starting the game. He entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, and became the first player in 63 years to appear at least that late into a game but still record 4 hits. He delivered a game-winning walk-off single in the 13th inning.
Coste is very popular with Phillies fans and has a fan club that is at every Phillies game known as the Coste Guard. They wear red bathing suits and white T-shirts. They also wear sunglasses, and sunscreen on their nose; fans can hear their whistles which they use to help cheer on the Phillies and Chris Coste.
On October 29, 2008, Chris became the first player that originated from Division III college baseball's MIAC to win a World Series.
New York MetsEdit
On March 29, 2010, Coste was claimed off waivers by the Washington Nationals. He was released on June 5, 2010.
Hey... I'm Just the CatcherEdit
Coste wrote his first book about his experiences in professional baseball: "Hey... I'm Just the Catcher: An Inside Look at a Northern League Season From Behind the Plate," published in 1997. This book covers his first few seasons in independent baseball leagues, mainly the RedHawks (in his hometown). This book is out of print and supplanted by his new book.
The 33-Year-Old RookieEdit
2008 saw the release of Coste's second autobiography, "The 33-Year-Old Rookie: How I Finally Made it to the Big Leagues After Eleven Years in the Minors." The book, which chronicles Coste's first season in the majors, contains a foreword by John Kruk. This book covers Chris' professional career up through his third season (2008) with the Phillies. It includes nearly all the historical material found in his first book (independent baseball) as well as the time in the affiliated minor leagues.
Due to the recent success of films about athletes such as Vince Papale and Jim Morris, movie studio representatives have contacted Coste about the possibility of a movie about his struggle from career minor-leaguer to the majors.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Philadelphia Phillies Transactions May 2007. MLB.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
- ↑ Astros claim C Chris Coste off waivers from Phillies
- ↑ Grodsky, John. "Berkman shaken but unbowed by injury", MLB.com, 2009-07-24. Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
- ↑ Noble, Marty. "Mets re-sign Cora, ink catcher Coste", MLB.com, 2009-11-30. Retrieved on 2009-12-01.
- ↑ Alipour: Q&A with Chris Coste - ESPN Page 2
- Chris Coste's official web site
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Coste gets the call to Majors
- Coste relishing first offseason in bigs
- Publisher's page for "The 33-Year-Old Rookie"
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