Chris Coste always enjoyed collecting baseball cards as a kid. Even more enjoyable than that was having a kid ask him to autograph his rookie card with the Phillies years later.
04/29/2008 3:25 PM ET
Hard-working Coste gets thrill from card
North Dakota native used to collect Roger Maris cards as a kid
By Andy Jasner / Special to MLBPLAYERS.com
"I'll never forget it," Coste said.
You see, Coste made his Major League debut with the Phillies as a 33-year-old rookie in 2006. He was a big part of the club's drive to the National League East Division championship last season, and he has continued his production in 2008. Coste even has a recently published book, titled, The 33-Year-Old Rookie.
After 11 years in the Minor Leagues -- including five in the independent Northern League -- with several organizations, Coste never gave up on his dream of getting that call from a Major League club.
Now an established backup catcher, Coste is doing what he dreamed of as a kid -- playing professional baseball. Many years ago, he was that bright-eyed kid who collected baseball cards, and he shares thoughts of his collecting days.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was your favorite card?
Coste: I can't remember exactly. I remember I liked a lot of players and had cards of Mike Schmidt and Joe Morgan. And being from North Dakota, everyone knew Roger Maris. I had a Maris card.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was it like to see your first Major League card?
Coste: It's kind of indescribable. It's almost surreal. After all those years of fighting to make it, seeing yourself on a card and signing an autograph is a dream come true. It may sound cliché, but it's so cool. I know how hard I had to work to get here. I know how close I got so many times, but things didn't work out. It was incredible to have that first card. It will always be special to me.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Do you have a specific way you'd like to be featured on a card?
Coste: No, not at all. Just to be on a big league club and on a baseball card is enough. Any picture they want is fine.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Do you have your Minor League cards?
Coste: Yes, I think so. It's kind of funny to see me from 10 years ago. I looked so young. It will be a reminder of where I started and how far I came.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was the best part about collecting baseball cards?
Coste: Just seeing what players you would get. That was always neat.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What would you say to a kid who gets a Chris Coste card in a pack?
Coste: That's a player who worked his tail off. If you work hard enough, anything is possible.
-- Red Line Editorial