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.

"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. 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. 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. 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. 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. What was the best part about collecting baseball cards?

Coste: Just seeing what players you would get. That was always neat. 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