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Broadcast legend Jerry Coleman has passed away

Jan 5, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres Getty Images

The Padres have announced that broadcaster and former player and manager Jerry Coleman has passed away at the age of 89. Coleman spent nine seasons from 1949-1957 in the Majors as a player, all with the Yankees. He earned a spot on the 1950 All-Star team and helped the Yankees sweep the Phillies 4-0 in the World Series the same year. Coleman had a brief stint as a manager, taking over the Padres in 1980, leading them to a 73-89 record.

In 1960, Coleman began his broadcasting career, taking a job with CBS television. Starting in 1963 and lasting for seven years, Coleman called Yankees games for WCBS radio and WPIX television. He called Angels games in 1970-71, then became the Padres’ lead radio announcer — a position he had held ever since. Coleman was honored for his work in 2005 as a recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.

We extend our sincere condolences to the Coleman family.

  1. Stacey - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    I always liked seeing him at Old Timer’s Day at the Stadium. Condolences to his family.

  2. rbeer79 - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    True legend. Very sad.
    He had a great life

  3. largebill - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Also, and more importantly, a Marine Corps aviator during WWII and Korea.

    • Paul White - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      Correct, the only MLB player to fly combat missions in two wars, which is easily worth noting. RIP LtCol Coleman.

      • schlom - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Here’s a page that has information on his Marine Corps aviation career:

      • joegeshel - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:23 AM

        I am pretty sure Ted Williams did too.

      • Paul White - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:50 AM

        No, Williams didn’t fly combat missions in WWII. He was an instructor. His only combat was in Korea.

  4. ibchr - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    “You can hang a Star on that one” RIP Jerry Coleman!

    • ptfu - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Rest in peace, Colonel.

      The radio banter between Ted Leitner and Jerry Coleman was awesome. It was like listening to two old friends chatting away–What’d ya do today Jerry? I took a walk, ate a turkey sandwich, and the 1-2 pitch is low, ball two. Ted would tease Jerry but you could tell he deeply respected his friend, and he went out of his way to call him The Colonel–especially on military appreciation days. Jerry would modestly pooh-pooh it, never brought it up on air, but he quietly liked how people appreciated real service. Ted & Jerry kept people listening long after countless Padres games got out of hand.

      When the 1996 Padres clinched the division on the last day of the season, capping an improbable sweep in Dodger Stadium, Jerry exclaimed “You can hang a star on the entire season!” Well, Colonel, you can hang a star on your entire career, baseball military and otherwise. Rest in peace.

  5. ikedavisnose - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    RIP Jerry Coleman I just saw him at Old Timers Day in June, he looked very good, very sad to hear

  6. asimonetti88 - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    he lived a long and fulfilling life! RIP to a baseball legend!

  7. cackalackyank - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    RIP Jerry.

  8. sdiegosteel - Jan 5, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    With the Chargers winning a playoff game and the Aztecs beating the Jayhawks in Kansas today, this is a sad end to a remarkable day. He was great . . . but I don’t think Jerry would mind if you mentioned his extensive list of malaprops and verbal gaffes. My favorite: “If Rose’s streak was still intact, with that single to left, the fans would be throwing babies out of the upper deck.”

    Outside of Tony Gwynn, there probably isn’t a more beloved Padre. RIP, Jerry.

    • vanmorrissey - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Exactly. Thanks Jerry for all the Colemanism’s that came with him, it was part of who he was, why we enjoyed him so dearly. What a human being, he lived a blessed and fulfilling life but will be missed.

  9. navyeoddavee9 - Jan 5, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    RIP, LT COL!

  10. icanspeel - Jan 5, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    RIP Jerry Coleman. Grew up listening to him and was there when the Padres honored him with a statue. He will be greatly missed.

  11. barrywhererufrom - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Only majorleaguer to see combat in WW Ii and Korea. Ted Williams did not see combat in WW II. RIP Jerry..great Yankee and broadcaster. Semper Fi!!

    • barrywhererufrom - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      RIP Jerry!!

  12. pisano - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Rest in peace my friend, a true American, served his country, and played the game he loved. God rest his soul.

  13. gloccamorra - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    People may not realize how highly regarded Jerry Coleman was as a Marine. After the cease fire in Korea, Jerry got his day in Yankee Stadium. In the clubhouse, an attendant told him there was a Marine to see him. It was the Commandant of the Marine Corps to shake his hand.

    In Korea, all Marine pilots were put under the command of the 7th Fleet, and 5-star Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz was brought out of retirement to command the 7th Fleet. The Yankees knew it was just a cease fire and the 7th Fleet was still stationed off Korea, but they extended an invitation to Nimitz as a courtesy. Nimitz was actually in Washington, and sent word that he’d attend.

    Yankees owner Dan Topping was elated – how many chances do you get to meet a 5-star Admiral? There were only five in the history of the Navy. Topping made him guest of honor in the owner’s box, and even Jerry was astounded when his attendance was announced.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Just goes to show the Yankees and Jerry were both class acts, thanks for sharing that story

  14. nyhammerhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    Hope the Yankees and or the Padres put a plaque of him in the ballparks. True hero . Thank you for your service for your country Jerry.21 gun salute for you. RIP

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