Christopher Robert Coste is a professional baseball player from the United States of America and plays as a catcher. A student at the Fargo South High School, Coste first went to a Division II college, Kishwaukee College, for a year before moving away to Concordia College. At this Division III school, Coste became a three-time All-American and upon graduation, began playing professionally in the North Central League, for Brainerd, in 1995.
In July of 1995, the entire North Central League shut up shop and Coste was forced to look elsewhere and he turned to the Prairie League to play for the Brandon Grey Owls.. In 1996, Coste returned to Fargo to play for the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks, a team that was a part of the Northern League. Up until 1999, Coste continued to be a part of that team and in his four seasons, had a .314, .312, .328 and .335 batting average.
It was only in 2000 that Coste finally got a chance to get into the minor league affiliates of the MLB franchisees. The Cleveland Indians picked him up as a free agent and assigned him to the AA-Division. Midway through the season, after 65 games to be exact, Coste had hit at a batting average of .333 to earn a spot in the AAA-Division. A .302 batting average in the AAA-Division was good, however the lack of an opening in the MLB roster meant that Coste would continue to remain in the minors.
He began 2001 in the AA-Division again, although only for 6 games, and climbed his way into the AAA-Division where, for the first time in his career, his batting average fell below .300 over a considerable number of games. In 2002, he played entirely in the AAA-Division and raised his BA back to .318, although there was still no place for Coste in the MLB roster.
In 2003, Coste decided to move to Boston and with the Red Sox, he began in the Rookie League, playing 11 games before moving up to the AAA-Division. Coste failed to impress with average performances with the bat and with the catcher’s mitt.
At the end of the season, Coste was released and he joined the Milwaukee Brewers for another season of minor league action. 78 games and a .294 batting average later, Coste was still hunting for a spot in the MLB roster and again, at the end of the season, decided to move in search of his dream. In 2005, Coste moved to the Philadelphia Phillies and again, began in the AAA-League. Over 134 games, Coste had a .292 batting average and had hit 30 home runs and 89 RBI. Finally getting a whiff of the MLB roster, Coste continued to slog in the AAA-Division, in 2006, and after almost 11 years of starting his professional career, Coste got a shot at the MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies. An ecstatic Coste hit at .328 in the 198 at-bats and also hammered 7 balls over the walls while hitting 32 RBI.
However, Coste was sent back to the Advanced A-Division for the start of the 2007 and soon, made his way up to the AA-Division, the AAA-Division and then back into the MLB roster for the last 48 games of the season. Coste was sent to the lower divisions as Ryan Howard, till then on the Disabled List, was re-activated and Coste himself chose to go to a lower division than remain a backup at a higher division in the minors.
Injuries to Jon Lieber and Jayson Werth brought Coste back into the reckoning and he ended the season with the Phillies, hitting .278 with the bat. Coste began the 2008 season as a backup to Carlos Ruiz in the Phillies’ roster. He played 98 games and was even involved in a record breaking performance where he hit 4 for 4 without even starting the game. Coste came on as a pinch hitter and became the first player, in 63 years, to come on late in the game and record 4 hits.
Coste went onto win the World Series with the Phillies in 2008 and became the first player ever, from a Division III college, to go on and win the World Series.
Coste was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros at the beginning of the 2009 season. Coste played at first base for the Astros after Lance Berkman was forced out due to injury.
Coste has been extremely popular with the fans, especially at the Phillies where he had his own fan club in the stadiums known as the “Coste Guard”. The fans wore red swimming trunks/bathing suits and white tee-shirts along with sunglasses and sunscreen.
Coste has also authored two books, the first about his experiences in professional baseball, called “Hey… I’m Just the Catcher”. Published in 1997, the book was on the Northern League Season that Coste was a part of. It was followed by his second book to date, called “The 33-Year Old Rookie”. The book is on his 11-year journey through the streets of professional baseball to his final destination – The Majors.