Do you believe it, Chris Coste is going to the World Series.
Sure, Cole Hamels was MVP of the National League Championship Series for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and the other regulars had most of the spotlight in the five-game quieting of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I'll still take Coste, who burst onto the major league scene as the 33-year-old rookie two years ago, and who we have featured so many times in this space and in more detail in our subscriber-only Independent Baseball Insider column. (The column will have more later today.)
Coste deserves a special toast from everyone who follows Independent Baseball because he has driven so much attention by playing five years in three Indy leagues before getting his first opportunity in a major league organization (Cleveland, 2000) and labored for more than six years in the minors, sometimes teetering on the edge of a big-league call-up, before finally getting into a regular season game with the Phils May 26, 2006. He was their oldest rookie since 1945.
The splitting of time between Brandon, Manitoba, and Brainerd, MN, in two soon-to-fail Indy leagues in 1995 and four seasons in his hometown of Fargo, ND (Northern League) is paying dividends today.
Coste, who divided catching chores with Carlos Ruiz much of the season (.263-9-36 in what easily was a career-high 274 at bats), before the younger backstop (29) finally got most of the calls late in the season, only had one at-bat in the NLCS. He singled in Game 3, the only one Philadelphia lost, but it means in perpetuity he will be listed with a 1.000 batting average.
The lack of NLCS play is of little matter at the moment. Coste deserves to celebrate with wife Marcia and daughter Casey, because they also endured all of the ups and downs of this career that would not have happened without Independent Baseball being there to provide the opportunity to mature and be seen.
And who knows when this determined backstop may deliver on the biggest baseball stage of all in a few days.