Monday, May 22, 2006


Chris Coste's 11-year journey from the Brandon Grey Owls of the defunct Prairie League in 1995, to four seasons with his hometown Fargo-Moorehead Redhawks in the Northern League, to five affiliated minor league teams, to several major league spring training camps finally ended up with the catcher-third baseman-first baseman in the majors Sunday.

How excited Chris must have been to be in uniform for Philadelphia's 10-5 win over Boston, one of his former organizations, even though he did not get into the game.

Now Coste's major league debut seems likely to come at some point in the National League East headline series at Shea Stadium starting Tuesday when the first place Mets host the second place Phillies.

While many players peak somewhere between 27 and 31 "there is no question I am a better player now" at 33 Coste told us over breakfast this spring, a spring training in which he hit .463 for the Phillies and still got sent down the last day before the regular season opener. (See our Independent Baseball Insider column of April 6.)

Coste's story should provide a happy day for every Independent Baseball player still trying to reach the majors. We will have much more to say about that topic in this Thursday's "Insider" column. Maybe we can even talk about his first big-league hit by that time.

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