Chris Coste got his start in baseball as a catcher for Fargo-Moorehead in the independent Northern League. He played for Fargo-Moorehead for the next four years, hitting over .310 each year. He raised his OPS each year until it reached .926 in 1999. That caught the attention of the Indians and they signed him to a contract in 2000.
Chris started in Akron, batted .333 in 240 at bats and was promoted to Buffalo where he hit .302. But he didn't get called up.
In 2001, I believe he was slowed by injuries for he played in only 81 games.
In 2002, at Buffalo he hit .318 in 500 plate appearances, but again no callup.
Now 30, Chris was released and began kicking around the minors, going from the Red Sox organization, to the Brewer's organization, and then on to the Phillie's organization. Along the way he expanded the number of positions he played, and even pitched in 5 games (1-1, 4.50).
In 2005, the Phillies invited Chris to spring training where he hit .312 with a .915 OPS, but didn't make the team. He spent the year at Scranton/WB where he hit .292 and showed some power with a career-high 20 HRs. Still no call up.
Now 33, he was again invited to the Phillies spring training this year and went on a tear, batting .463, slugging .805, with an ops of 1.305 in 41 at bats! He had a number of clutch hits, game winners, and was the talk of the Grapefruit League. He looked like a lock to make the team....until the day before opening day when the Phillies signed David Delucci and Chris was once again consigned to Scranton/WB.
It was painfully obvious by this time that there was nothing Coste could do to earn a promotion, or even a brief cup of coffee at the big league level. Chris could have read the writing on the wall and retired, but instead decided to report to Scranton/WB where he fully expected to spend the rest of the year, but then something amazing happened. At the age of 33 - the same age as Chris - Phillie's infielder Alex Gonzales, decided to retire. To fill his spot on the roster, the Phillies called up Chris Coste Sunday.
Sometime this coming week, Chris Coste, with number 27 and COSTE on the back of his jersey, will get his first major league at bat.