Coste Thought These Days Would Never Come

For Chris Coste, 2006 has brought a lot of firsts and he's soaking them all in. Admittedly, the 33 year old doubted that he'd ever get to see a lot of the things that he's accomplished this season with the Phillies.

Chris Coste didn't exactly take the fast track to the major leagues.

He spent his first five seasons of professional ball in the outback of the independent leagues.

At age 27, the Cleveland Indians finally offered him a minor league contract. Coste would spend six more seasons in the minor leagues.

At age 33, Coste finally got a shot this season with the Phillies as a backup catcher - and a rookie.

On Wednesday afternoon in San Diego, Coste hit his first major league homer against Padres right-hander Mike Thompson. Later, Coste hit a run-scoring double to raise his season average to .333 (17-for-51).

But it was after hitting his fourth-inning homer that Coste struck a chord that any journeyman can appreciate.

As he crossed home plate to complete his journey, Coste turned to Padres catcher Josh Bard - who was a teammate of Coste in 2001 and 2002 - and said: "Josh, I didn't think this was ever going to happen."

When a fan threw Coste's homer back onto the playing field, Bard stepped in front of the plate and signaled Padres left fielder Dave Roberts to toss it toward the Phillies dugout.

News and Notes From Philly:

  • Chase Utley was 2-for-4 Wednesday to extend his career-best hitting streak to 21 straight games. Utley is hitting .407 (37-for-91) during the streak. Utley has the longest active streak in the major leagues.
  • Geoff Geary returned home Wednesday and picked up a win with a scoreless inning of relief at Petco Park. Geary, a 1994 graduate of Grossmont High, east of San Diego, later attended San Diego Mesa College. He is now 6-0 on the season. "Coming here and winning is special," Geary said.
  • Tom Gordon won the duel of National League All-Star closers Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park. After the Padres' Trevor Hoffman blew his chance at the save in the top of the ninth, Gordon successfully picked up his 22nd save by blanking the Padres in the bottom of the ninth.
  • Shane Victorino struck perhaps the greatest blow against Trevor Hoffman in the ninth inning Wednesday. He got hit by the first pitch Hoffman threw. Victorino was only the eighth batter hit by Hoffman in 792 innings.
  • Jimmy Rollins is 6-for-29 (.207) since the All-Star break.
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