10/08/2008 9:50 AM -
Every catcher in Independent Baseball should be thrilled. Three backstops they would love to emulate are on major league postseason rosters.
The best known of the group is Philadelphia’s Chris Coste, the much talked about 33-year-old rookie of two seasons ago who finally got in a full major league season this summer (.263-9-36). We have documented so many times how his first five campaigns were as an Independent, primarily in his hometown of Fargo, ND (Northern League).
Mike Rivera (.306-1-14) is the backup to durable Jason Kendall with Milwaukee, three years after he was with Atlantic City, NJ, and Michel Hernandez (.200-0-0) replaced the injured Shawn Riggans in Tampa Bay. The other player with actual Indy game experience is Boston outfielder J.D. Drew (St. Paul, MN). Three others signed or trained with Independent clubs, but did not play regular season games with them. They are Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (St. Paul), White Sox reliever D. J. Carrasco (Johnstown, PA, Frontier League) and Los Angeles Angels hurler Jered Weaver (Camden, NJ).
(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes on Independent Baseball. Fans may subscribe at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs (www.IndyBaseballChatter.com and www.IndependentBaseballClassifieds.com ) or comment to RWirz@aol.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)