Commentary

Appreciating Chris Coste

He is not a Hall of Famer. He is not an All Star. He isn’t the most popular player. Still, it was impossible to root against Chris Coste.

Coste fought his way through the minor leagues, spending 12 years without having a cup of coffee. In 2005, the Phillies signed Coste to a minor league deal. Coste spent the entire season at Triple-A Scranton Wilks-Barre.

In 2006, Coste was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee for the second straight year. He was impressive, hitting .463 with 3 home runs. It appeared that Coste won a spot on the Phillies roster, but it wasn’t meant to be. He started the year in Triple-A.

At 33 years, 111 days, Coste made his Major League debut on May 26, 2006. Coste went 0-for-his-first-13. Well, it was a good story. At least he finally made it to the Majors. But all anybody wanted to see was for him to get one hit before being sent down. On June 16, 2006, Coste singled up the middle against Devil Ray’s pitcher James Shields for his first Major League hit.

On July 19, he slugged his first Major League home run. It was a long one, reaching the porches at Petco Park. In 2006, he batted .328 with 7 HR and 32 RBI.

In 2007, Coste found himself in the minor leagues again after the Phillies signed Rod Barajas. However, Coste was back in the Majors after several Phillies suffered injuries. He was a contributor to the Phillies 2007 National League East title, batting .279 with 5 HR. Brett Myers will always have the sign to Chris Coste to clinch the division.

In 2008, Coste survived the whole year without being sent down to the minor leagues. He even started Game 1 of the World Series as the designated hitter. Coste had only one hit during the entire postseason, but five years ago nobody imaged Coste being on a postseason roster.

Coste wasn’t the best defensive catcher, but it was always exciting to watch him throw runners out from his knees. He didn’t have the prettiest swing, but he managed to bat .288 with 21 home runs in the big leagues.

“I know people appreciated my story,” Coste said. “You could write a book about it. But I hope that when my career is over, they’ll say he was a good story, but he was a pretty good player, as well. If you look at the back of my baseball card, I’m not a Hall of Famer, I’m not an All-Star, but I had some decent production. I just want to maintain that and stay in the big leagues as long as possible because I was in the minor leagues for 12 or 13 years. I definitely don’t want to go back. I want to make this dream last as long as possible.”

A personal favorite Coste moment came in August of 2008 when the Phillies were trailing the New York Mets 7-0. Chris Coste did not start, however, he went 4-for-4 coming off the bench. In the 13th inning, he hit a walk-off single in the Phillies 8-7 come from behind win.

Whether moving him was appropriate or not is another story. He fit in Philadelphia during the time he was here.  Whether you read his books or not, it was impossible to root against Chris Coste.  The Coste Guards will miss him, and best of luck to him with the Houston Astros.

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0 Comments

  1. Jason Bintliff

    July 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Well said. As he once said, He was Taylor made to play in Philly. It was his kind of town. We as fans were taylor made for a player like Chris Coste. Good luck Coaster. Good luck.

  2. K3v0

    July 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Coste had heart which is what we appreciated about him.

  3. Chris.I

    July 11, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I will miss Coste…He was a class act, and had a heart of gold. No mater what team he plays for, he will always give 110%, and would make any manager/fan appreciate his courage and dignity. I wish him the best, and will always cheer for him (even if he hits a walk off homerun in Philly) of course I’d be mad 5 minutes later but you cant deny the fact that he deserves every sucess that his future brings him.

  4. Patrick Gallen

    July 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    It was great to see a guy like him succeed in this town. Still, there is no denying he has lost a step and it was just his time. Hope he does stick around for a while longer. Baseball needs guys like that.

  5. Griffin

    July 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I look forward to cheering for Coste in the future, whenever they reunite the 2008 champs at Citizens Bank.

    Best of luck, and thanks for a great story.

  6. Geoff

    July 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    There are plenty of teams this guy could play for. Bako just kind of came up and took his spot away from him. Maybe something happened with the pitchers and Coste where they had a falling out but hed be a nice backup to Ivan Rodriguez in Houston or somewhere else. There are some BAD BAD backup catchers in MLB, and hes better then some of them. But hey, the guy DOES have a World Series ring.

  7. Joe

    July 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    The ‘Stros come to CBP to wrap up the regular season. It would be nice if there was a little before-game tribute to Chris Coste before the first game, like we had for Pat Burrell in the preseason.

  8. Brian Michael

    July 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I don’t think Coste was as revered (or loathed) as much as Pat the Bat, but when the Phils are back-to-back WFCs they should definitely give Coste a ring.

  9. christopher

    July 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    classy write up Amanda. i was, and always will be, a coste fan. hope he has good luck on the astros. his autobiography is one of the better written books by a professional athlete/celebrity/etc that i’ve ever read. his family is lucky to have each other as they seem like genuinely good people, and i hope the move to houston (if they do) is an easy one.

  10. jennyc

    July 12, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I liked Chris Coste from the start, nice story, read his book, have lots of respect for him and his family and that he never gave up. Glad he played in Philly and hope only the best for him. Good Luck Chris!

  11. Rich Corr

    July 12, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Best of luck Chris.. you were a class guy that kept the game in the forfront of what it’s all about. Glad you got your RING here and you’ll always have a “SPECIAL” spot in the hearts of Phillies fans…

  12. LH

    July 13, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Good article Amanda. Coste was a steady catcher and I enjoyed his rags/minors to the richers/WS ring story.

  13. Marisa

    July 13, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Good post, Amanda. Chris definately will always be one of my all time favorites.. he personally answered an email I sent him. He is a class act, a clutch hitter and someone fans can look up to. He will always be a Phillie in my heart.

    Good Luck, Coastey we love you

  14. KB

    July 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I knew Chris all the way back when he was still in college back in MN. I have followed his career throughout the years. He was a class act then and still is today. When you stop and look at all the bad professional baseball and the world has to offer today it is great to know that there are still people like Coaster out there. People who still believe that through hard work and passion dreams can come true. Philly is a tough crowd to win over and it seems as though he’s done it. Coming from MN I’m a Twins fan but because of Chris and the fan’s support of him I’ve found myself rooting for the phillies. I hope the astros fans treat him the same. Best of luck in Houston, you have another city to inspire.

  15. Pingback: Good Bye Chris Coste: A Philadelphia Catcher « Shiketyshaq’s Blog

  16. Pingback: Interview with Chris Coste | Phillies Nation

  17. bob weissman

    November 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Chris was my favorite Phillie. He was a terrific fastball hitter when he first came up. Batted .328 as a rookie not bas ha! He was a wonderful clutch hitter a hard out late in the game. He answered some of my emails and is my hero. I’ve been following baseball for 59 years, admire his courage, and his attitude. I hope he gets back to the Majors in 2010 he surely deserves it.

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