I started to write my autobiography after an article came out about me in the New York Times last August. Someone from the book publishing company, Random House, who happens to be a Phillies fan, contacted me and got the ball rolling.
I was already writing a book, anyway, but initially it wasn't going to be about me. It was going to be about the Minor Leagues and what happens behind the scenes. But Random House turned the book into an autobiography called Catching the Dream. I spent a lot of last offseason organizing and a lot of this past season writing the book.
People wonder when I have time during the baseball season to write a book, but I think the baseball season is the best time. During the season, my emotions are fresh. It's easy to spark my memory. The 2006 season -- when I made by big-league debut as a 34-year-old rookie -- was so emotional for me. Writing now helps me go back in time and capture the emotion of all those moments.
I write a lot on the team plane. I also usually write when I first wake up and at night, if I have time. I'm usually a little tired at that point, but it's important to keep the flow. If I don't write enough, I lose focus.
On the days I write, I would write about 1,000 words a day. I usually don't do more than 2,000 words a day.
I sit on the team plane with my computer on and some notes spread around me. But I mostly write from memory. Sometimes I go back and look through box scores, and that helps a lot. For me, my rookie season was such a memorable experience. It's hard to forget such emotion. When I look at those box scores, I can visualize.
I really don't consider myself a very good writer. But I've always been a good speaker and communicator, so I sort of write the way I talk. I think being a catcher helps me with my memory and my recall. There is never a dull moment in your mind during a game. It's always on 100 percent.
The theme of the book, which comes out in Spring Training, is that if you have a uniform on your back, then you have a shot. I believe that's true, regardless of what league you're in.
I do understand why my story has gotten so much attention. There's a human element about overcoming extreme odds. You see it with other projects such as "The Rookie" and "Invincible," which also took place in Philly.
It would make a decent story in any market, but being in Philly, the people have really made me feel great and they seem to appreciate my story. I get ovations and things like that, and that feels great too. Philadelphia is a great place to play.
Backup Phillies catcher Chris Coste saw big-league action for the second straight season and contributed to Philadelphia's run to the postseason. At the plate, he hit .279 and behind the plate he threw out six of 15 would-be base stealers. You can learn more about Chris at his Web site, www.chriscoste.com.
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