Jerry Coleman (1924-2014)Generations have grown up learning baseball through the inimitable voice of Jerry Coleman, who spent four decades in the San Diego Padres broadcast booth. He was truly an American institution, serving heroically in World War II and the Korean War, serving 22 years (1942-64) in the Marines as an aviator, and earning four World Series rings as a Yankees second baseman.

The Padres and all fans are mourning Jerry’s passing on Sunday at the age of 89, and we invite you to share your condolences and stories here, using the comments below.

“The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the news today of the passing of Jerry Coleman. We send our heartfelt sympathy to the entire Coleman family, including his wife, Maggie, his children and grandchildren,” the Padres said in a statement. “On behalf of Padres fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.”

We’ll miss you Jerry.

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Begin forwarded message:

“OH, DOCTOR!”
Jerry Coleman: Voice of the Padres, passedaway yesterday at the age of 89.

San Diego Padres statement:
“The San Diego Padres are deeply saddened by the news today of the passing of Jerry Coleman. We send our heartfelt sympathy to the entire Coleman family, including his wife, Maggie, his children and grandchildren. On behalf of Padres’ fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.”

Gerald Francis “Jerry” Coleman (September 14, 1924 – January 5, 2014) was aMajor League Baseball (MLB) second baseman for the New York Yankees and manager of the San Diego Padres for one year. Coleman was named the rookie of the year in 1949 by Associated Press, and was an All-Star in 1950 and later that year was named the World Series most valuable player. His Yankees teams appeared in six World Series in his career, winning four times. Coleman served in the Korean Warand World War II. He later became a broadcaster, and he was honored in 2005 by theNational Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for his broadcasting contributions.

Jerry Coleman, August 2005

MLB CAREER STATISTICS:

MLB debut: April 20, 1949 New York Yankees
Batting average: .263
Hits: 558
RBIs: 217
Played with the New York Yankees 1949-1957
ESPN: ESPN:
Coleman’s best season was 1950, when he was an All-Star and was named MVP of the Yankees’ four-game sweep of thePhiladelphia Phillies in the World Series. Among his teammates were Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Johnny Mize.
“We won the first game 1-0 and I drove in that run,” Coleman recalled in 2012. “We won the second game 2-1. I scored one of the two runs and DiMaggio hit a home run in the 10th to win it. In the third game I drove in the winning run in the last inning, and in the fourth game I rested.”
By “rested,” he means he went 0 for 3. “I was exhausted,” he said.

CHARLES KNOBLOCK/AP
Jerry Coleman shows why Casey Stengal called him the best second baseman ever on the double play.

MILITARY SERVICE:

Service/branch
United States Marine Corps
*Marine Forces Reserve
Years of service
1942–1964
Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Unit
VMTB-341
VMFA-323
Battles/wars
World War II
*Solomon Islands campaign
*Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Korean War

Medals awarded:

Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Air Medal (13)
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War Two Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Philippine Liberation Medal
In 2011, Jerry Coleman was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the San Diego Air & Space Museum for his service as a combat pilot in WW2 and the Korean Conflict. Although several Major League ballplayers flew during WW2, Mr. Coleman was the only active member of MLB to do the deed twice, forgoing his career to fly in combat in both conflicts. The SDASM restored a vintage F4U “Corsair” fighter-bomber in the markings of Coleman’s aircraft during the Korean Conflict and it is displayed under their SBD “Dauntless” dive bomber (which Coleman flew in combat during WW2).
He was the only MLB player to see active combat in two wars.

We, the fans, adored Jerry Coleman beyond measure. With great affection, we called his misstatements Colemanisms, knowing they were made only because of his love of the game.
So, “You can hang a star on that baby!”Here are some of the best:

“I’ve made a couple of mistakes I’d like to do over.”
Peers found humor in Coleman’s play-by-play writing. Before his own death in 2011, Duke Snider recounted with great relish the story of how former Dodgers teammate Don Drysdale, also trying to parlay his playing success into a broadcasting career, joined Coleman in the booth and studied the way Coleman filled out his scorebook during games.
“Don said he understood everything Jerry wrote in the book, all the different marks he made and what they meant, except one,” Snider said. “There were a few at-bats where Jerry’d written ‘WW’ and Don kept wracking his brain, trying to figure out what ‘WW’ meant. Finally he asked and Jerry said, ‘Wasn’t watching.’/i”

“It’s a cold night out tonight. The Padres better warm up real good because it’s stiff out there.”

“Hrabosky looks fierce in that Fu Manchu haircut.”

“Enos Cabell started out here with the Astros, and before that he was with the Orioles.”

“Benedict may not be as hurt as he really is.”

“We started with 53,000 people. Half are gone, but surprisingly, most are still here!”
“The big ballpark can do it all!”

“A day without newspapers is like walking around without your pants on.”

“McCovey swings and misses, and it’s fouled back.”

“Hi folks, I’m Gerry Gross!”

“There’s a deep fly ball… Winfield goes back, back… his head hits the wall … it’s rolling towards second base.”

“If Pete Rose brings the Reds in first, they ought to bronze him and put him in cement.”

“It’s off the leg and into the left field of Doug Rader.”

“It’s a base hit on the error by Roberts.”

“Right now Andy Larkin is pitching just like young Andy Larkin.”

“Thomas is racing for it, but McCovey is there and can’t get his glove to it. That play shows the inexperience, not on Thomas’ part, but on the part of Willie McC … well, not on McCovey’s part either.”

“Grubb goes back, back… He’s under the warning track and makes the play.”

“Bob Davis has his hair differently this year, short with curls like Randy Jones wears. I think you call it a Frisbee.”

At Royals Stadium: “The sky is so clear today you can see all the way to Missouri”

“They throw Winfield out at second, but he’s safe.”

“They’ve taken the foot off Johnny Grubb. Uh, they’ve taken the shoe off Johnny Grubb.”

“Jesus Alou is in the on-deck circus.”

“The Padres, after winning the first game of the doubleheader, are ahead here in the top of the fifth and hoping for a split.”

“Eric Show will be 0 for 10 if that pop fly ever comes down.”

“At the end of six innings of play, it’s Montreal 5, Expos 3.”

“There’s a hard shot to LeMaster, he throws Madlock into the dugout.”

“Tony Taylor was one of the first acquisitions that the Phillies made when they reconstructed their team. They got him from Philadelphia.”

“Mike Caldwell, the Padres’ right-handed southpaw, will pitch tonight.”

“McCovey swings and misses, and its fouled back”

“Those amateur umpires are certainly flexing their fangs tonight.”

“The ex-left-hander Dave Roberts will be going for Houston.”

“Hector Torrez, how can you communicate with Enzo Hernandez when he speaks Spanish and you speak Mexican?”

“Rich Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen.”

“I sure hope you’re staying alive for the upcoming Dodgers series.”

“National League umpires wear inside chest protesters.”

“The Phillies beat the Cubs today in a doubleheader. That puts another keg in the Cubs’ coffin.”

“Reggie Smith of the Dodgers and Gary Matthews of the homers hit Braves in that game.”

“Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey should know each other like a book. They’ve been ex-teammates for years now.”

“And Kansas City is at Chicago tonight, or is it Chicago at Kansas City? Well, no matter as Kansas City leads in the eighth 4 to 4.”

“Sanguillen is totally unpredictable to pitch to because he’s so unpredictable.”

“Ron Guidry is not very big, maybe 140 pounds, but he has an arm like a lion.”

“The way he’s swinging the bat, he won’t get a hit until the 20th century.”

“Pete Rose has three-thousand hits and 3,014 overall.”
“Even though the ball was doubled, they got it anyway.”

“Finley is going over to get a new piece of bat.”

“You might want to put this in the back of your craw and think about it.”

“At the end, excitement maintained its hysteria.”

“Tony Gwynn, the fat batter behind Finley, is waiting.”

“Larry Lintz steals second standing up. He slid, but he didn’t have to.”

“I don’t mean he missed him, but he just didn’t get him when he put the tag on him.”

“The ballgame is over…in this inning.”

“The Cards lead the Dodgers 4-2 after one inning and that one hasn’t even started.”

“The last time Pena faced the Padres, the Dodgers scratched for a run to tie the game and then went on to win 4-0.”

“Larry Moffett is 6′ 3″. Last year he was 6″ 6″.”

“That was like swatting June bugs off a fly.”

“I challenge anyone, even with a radar machine, to hit that slider.”

“What a great hitch to pit!”

“Trailing 5-1, the Padres added an insurance run in the eighth inning.”

“That home run ties it up, 1-0.”

“Turner was like a pencil. He bent around that pitch!”

“The Padres are really swinging some hot hats tonight!”

“Montefusco bare-hands it and throws him out. That grounder will make you a traveling salesman in a hurry!”

“Gene Richards swings, the ball bounces foul and hits him in the head. No harm done.”

“When you lose your hands, you can’t play baseball.”
“That big guy, Winfield, at 6’6″, can do things only a small man can do.”
“Renko has just about had it. Pretty soon somebody will come out of the dugout with a fork and get him.”

“You walk into the locker room, and you see players with their ripping muscles and stomachs you could wash your clothes in.”

“Ozzie Smith is out there roaming around like glass.”

“I like to use big words so people will think I know what I’m talking about.”

“Ozzie Smith just made another play that I’ve never seen anyone else make before, and I’ve seen him make it more often than anyone else ever has.”

“Sunday is Senior Citizens’ Day. And if you want to become a senior citizen, just call the Padre ticket office.”

“Rick Miller hit only one home run last year, and that’s like hitting none.”

“I’ve never seen a game like this. Every game this year has been like this.”

“When Guante started, they thought he’d be like popcorn, one of the most popular things around.”

“Zane Smith is a guy who can shut you out as well as look at you.”

“DeShaies is like a clock out there. Every other pitch goes one way or the other.”

“Parker’s grand slam is the same as going 4 for 4, even though he went 1 for 4.”

“Boros is not with the team today because he’s attending his daughter’s funeral. Oh, wait, it’s her wedding.”

“Young Frank Pastore may have just pitched the biggest victory of 1979, maybe the biggest victory of the year!”
“Templeton is as hot as you can be and still walk!”
“There’s two heads to every coin.”

“Billy Almon has all of his in-laws and outlaws here this afternoon.”

“If ever an error had “F” written on it, that grounder did.”

“On the mound is Randy Jones, the left-hander with the Karl Marx hairdo.” (Harpo Marx)

“Over the course of a season, a miscue will cost you more than a good play.”

“The game in St. Louis has been halted in the fourth inning because of rain. I’ll bet they have the Jacuzzis going there.”

“Shirley and Griffey get along like a rattler and a parrot.”

“If Rose’s streak was still intact, with that single to left, the fans would be throwing babies out of the upper deck.”

“He can be lethal death.”

“Sometimes, big trees grow out of acorns. I think I heard that from a squirrel.”

“Gonzo leaps like a giraffe and grabs it.”

“Hats off to drug abusers everywhere.”

“That noise in my earphones knocked my nose off and I had to pick it up and find it.”

“Whenever you get an inflamed tendon, you’ve got a problem. OK, here’s the next pitch to Gene Tendon.” (Gene Tenace)

“Last night’s homer was Stargell’s 399th career home run, leaving him one shy of 500.”

“You didn’t have to say it was gone. It was gone before it got outta here. It was going that fast.”

“Kent Abbott is in the on-deck circuit.”

“Those numbers with Tony (Gwynn) are so often and so interesting.”

“Many people think the Cards at the end of the wire will cross the finish line first.”

“He may not be hurt as much as he really is.”
“From the way Denny’s shaking his head, he’s either got an injured shoulder or a gnat in his eye.”

“Ozzie makes a leaping, diving stop, shovels to Fernando and everybody drops everything.”

“There is someone warming up in the Giants’ bullpen, but he’s obscured by his number.”

“Johnny Grubb slides into second with a standup double.”

“Turner pulls into second with a sun-blown double.”

“Edwards missed getting Stearns at third base by an eyeball.”

“All the Padres need is a fly ball in the air.”

“Davis fouls out to third in fair territory.”

“There’s a shot up the alley. Oh, it’s just foul.”

“The new Haitian baseball can’t weigh more than four ounces or less than five.”

Upon hearing Glenn Beckert’s planned retirement: “Well, I hope before Glenn goes, he’ll come up here so we can give him a big hug and a kiss, because that’s the kind of guy he is.”

“Montreal leads Atlanta by three, 5-1.”

“The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It’s ball one. Low and outside.”

“That’s Hendrick’s 19th home run. One more and he reaches double figures.”

“Well, it looks like the all-star balloting is about over, especially in the National and American Leagues.”
“The Rockies have seven runs on seven hits. And none of the hits was gigantic. Just sort of in between.”

“Remember, Sunday is a 10:35 start. So have a late brunch.”
“The Dodgers and the Marlins, that game will get under way at 8:05 here in California, 5:05 in San Diego.”

“If they were using 17-inch mounds, you’d be hitting uphill.”

“Chicago leads Cleveland in the third, 3-0. If that score holds up, Chicago will lead Cleveland by two.”

“Man, this is a long game… we’re two hours into the sixth inning.”

“Mark McGwire hit two home runs, numbers 18, 19 and 20.”
“So the Cardinals take a 2-0 lead on balls that were not hit at all, but fair.”

“The Padres are leading 7-1, and the Dodgers are making the Padres look terrible.”

“What we have here is a blowout, or a possible great comeback.”

“The A’s have one out, and are trying for more.”

“Atlanta will be in first if that part-time score holds up.”
And it’s a long drive down the line to centerfield.”

“That’s the fourth extra base hit for the Padres – two doubles and a triple.”

“Houston has its largest crowd of the night here this evening.”

“The Houstons and the Cardinals are only separated by a half-game in the NL Central.”

“Vaughn’s in a — I don’t want to call it a slump — it’s more a semi-active role.”

“Kent Abbott is in the on-deck circuit.”

“Here’s Kerry Taylor, who’s always looking for his first major-league win.”

“Gwynn is going to second… he’s in there for a double! He legged the second half of that base hit all by himself!”

“We had a pitcher a couple of years ago who worked fast. If you missed a blink, you missed a pitch.”

“He sends a fly ball to center field. With his legs, Devon White ought to catch it.”

“It’s not impossible you’d put Lenny Dykstra on. He’s not the winning run; he’s just an excess run.”

“It’s a beautiful warm day here in Pittsburgh. It’s a great day for baseball. The only problem is, they don’t play on grass, they play on tarpaulin.”

(As Matt Williams took a curtain call after hitting a home run) “Barry Bonds gets a standing ovation as he digs in.”

“They throw Winfield out at second, but he’s safe.”

“Ozzie makes a leaping, diving stop, shovels to Fernando and everybody drops everything.”

“All the Padres need is a fly ball in the air.”

“Davis fouls out to third in fair territory.”

“There’s a shot up the alley. Oh, it’s just foul.”

“The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It’s ball one. Low and outside.”
“He’s gone from 33 saves to 24 to eight to one… I guess the Braves figured he was through.”
“You didn’t have to say it was gone. It was gone before it got outta here. It was gonna that fast.”

“There’s a long fly left centerfield, he got all of that one, it’s to the wall, at the wall, and that ball is caught, no I mean he dropped it, wait a minute he caught it! That was the best play Greg Vaughn made of his life!”

“Many people think the Cards at the end of the wire will cross the finish line first.”

‘Kevin Brown fires, and the bunt is taken by the pitcher for a strike.”

“A bouncer out toward the mound, drifting foul.”
“Many people think the Cards at the end of the wire will cross the finish line first.”

“Kevin Brown fires, and the bunt is taken by the pitcher for a strike.”

“A bouncer out toward the mound, drifting foul.”

“The batter is Gary DiSarcina, Jim Edmonds on deck, Andy Ashby on the mound, and his first pitch is swung on and missed by Edmonds.”

“Ed Giovanola drops one into center field for a fair ball. Base hit.”

“There’s a one-hopper gloved by the third baseman. (pause) Pardon me… that was a liner.”

“I don’t know, uh, what happened. But it was the play of the year by Sheffield! He moved a step to his left and, uh, ahem…. well, it’s an error on Gary.”

“Ground ball to third… great stop by Caminiti! On his back… he threw the ball out at first base!”

“There’s a throw over to first… uh-oh, almost a wild pitch.”

“The Spanish language broadcasts are proving to be an excellent outlet for people who speak only Spanish.”
“The fags (flags) are blowing out in San Francisco.”

(Discovering the given name of pitcher Hilly Hathaway is Hillary) “What an unfortunate name to have. Especially when the President of the United States has the same name.”

“Sept. 5, 1993 might be a watershed day for the Braves. Had it been the other way around, it would have been a death throttle.”

“Stillwell’s grounder goes through Wallach’s legs and into left field, and Stillwell is into second with a double. The throw rolls past Reed and Stillwell’s into second. Wait a second, I was talking to Drysdale. Let me start over.”

“John Kruk throws down his helmet in disgrace.”

“He was with Triple-A San Jose. (pause) Mr. Know-It-All, Dave Marcus, informs me San Jose is Double-A. (pause) Did I say Double-A? I meant Single-A.”

“If I knew how to spell it I’d say ‘deja vu.'”

“Edgar Martinez of Seattle says he is impressed by National League pitching.” (Then, following eight seconds of technical-difficulty dead air) “Well, he did say it. I don’t care what anybody says.”

“(Joe) DiMaggio seldom showed emotion. One day after striking out, he came into the dugout and kicked the ball bag. We all went ‘ooooh’. It really hurt. He sat down and the sweat popped out on his forehead and he clenched his fists without ever saying a word. Everybody wanted to howl, but he was a god. You don’t laugh at gods.”

“He (Graig Nettles) leaped up to make one of those diving stops only he can make.”

“Edwards missed getting Stearns at third base by an eyeball.”

“And after the game, a free concert by The Doobie Brothers!” — other broadcaster: “I’ll bet you can’t name a single song by the Doobie Brothers.” Jerry: “Of course, I can. I like that one, ‘China Groove.’” (China Grove.)

(Following the second out) “.. and the Padres win the National League Wes… oh, just got a little excited.”

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”
Bill Cosby

JERRY COLEMAN ~A TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT

We lost a true American Patriot Sunday. One of the dwindling few left of the Greatest Generation.

Mr. Jerry Coleman, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps, Retired. A decorated Aviator Combat Veteran of World War two, and the Korean War.

Mr. Coleman stepped aside from his profession, a profession that is tremendously hard to break into, and just as hard to keep, yet he stepped away from it, not once, but TWICE. He set aside his own ambitions, and perhaps his own personal future, in order fulfill what he felt were his commitments to his Country, and to those that inhabit it, that’s you & me friends! To protect OUR Freedoms, OUR rights, OUR Country, and to stand up for the Right’s & Freedom of others who were threatened, and his Government had asked him to fight for. He didn’t question it, he respected it, he served. He could have easily used his influence to get out of it, to play baseball, to make a lot of money, to not have put his life on the line, but he did what was right…. and American. He truly is an American Patriot: Strong, quiet, modest, humble, determined, polite & serving. He truly demonstrated all the attributes that I believe we as Americans want to emulate.

I was fortunate to have had several one-on-one occurrences with LtCol. Jerry Coleman.

My first encounter occurred while attending a Padre Game in the 70’s. I was attending a game as a guest of my Dad, and his company; DALFI, in a Skybox. One of my best friend’s, Fred Whiteman attended with me. Fred had just come back from a deployment to Thailand during the Vietnam War. Fred was Air Force assigned to an A-1 Skyraider Squadron as a bomb armorer. As was normal, Fred & I celebrated his return by imbibing in a few beers, especially since the beers were free and Fred had successfully returned from a combat deployment. Once the game had finished, we remained in the skybox, which was located on the Press Level, until we were told to leave and the free beer ceased. Upon leaving the skybox, Fred & I came upon a four wheeled flat cart that some fool had left unattended. Fred & I immediately jumped on this opportunity and commandeered the cart. First riding it as a kick scooter, then I came upon the idea of using it as a gurney. I told Fred to lay down on it like he was dead and I’d push him around on it. Well we came to the elevator just as the doors were about to close shut. I hit the open button and the doors reopened. There standing in the elevator amongst a couple of other people was Jerry Coleman. Perfectly attired, not a hair out of place, neatly and professionally, carrying his soft leather brief case, having completed his radio broadcast of the just completed Padre game.

I immediately recognized him, and having already started to push the cart with Fred prone into the elevator, I pulled back on the cart, and mumbled we’d catch the next elevator ride. Mr. Coleman and I both looked down at Fred still lying motionless in the cart, and then back up at each other again. I stumbled…. and mumbled out; “That’s my friend…… he just got back from Vietnam”. Fred’s still laying there, not a sign of life, and he’s wearing his Air Force Squadron gray all-weather jacket.

Mr. Coleman, with his ever-present smile, both on his lips and in his eyes, set down his briefcase, stepped to the back of the elevator, and arms spread out gently pressed the others to step back while commenting, we’ve got plenty of room, especially for one of our Military Service Members. I pushed the cart in, Fred still laying there completely motionless, me now staring eye to eye with Mr. Coleman, and the elevator closed and descending. I acted very nonchalant with a shit-face smile, I think I almost started to whistle! The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and Mr. Coleman reached forward, held the door back for me, and instructed me: “Go on a head, and take good care of our buddy there”. And off I went with Fred still quietly lying on the cart. He was a class act Gentleman!

My second encounter occurred in 1986 out in Yuma Arizona at Padre Spring Training. A friend & I were wandering around the Yuma Complex of multiple baseball diamonds unsure of what we were doing, waiting for the pre-season game to commence when we came upon Mr. Coleman, walking alone, perfectly attired, again, not a hair out of place, with that ever-present gentle smile, again both on his lips and eyes. I asked him if I could have my picture taken with him, he laughed and said: “Why would you want your picture taken with me? You want to break your camera”. I pony’d up alongside him and he swung his arm around my neck on to my shoulder, pulled me too him, and made me feel like his best friend. The picture was taken, I thanked him and HE very graciously thanked me!

It is now a picture I value as much as any I have. Me and MY good buddy, Jerry.

My third encounter occurred in the late 90’s, when LtCol. Coleman was a guest at the Official Opening Ceremony of the Flying Leatherneck Museum at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. He had arrived early before the other dignitaries. I had brought my picture of him and I together (taken at the afore mentioned episode) in case the opportunity arose that I may get to have him autograph it. Well I came across LtCol. Coleman quietly browsing through the displays in the Museum’s trailer/building. I quickly went, fetched my picture, and came back to him asking for his autograph. He responded; “Sure”! I opened my folder of the two of us together, and presented it along with a ballpoint pen to him. He looked at it and said; “We don’t want to use a ballpoint pen, it’ll smear, let me see if I’ve got a sharpie marker pen in my case.” I immediately said “No, that’s all right, a pen will be okay” (I didn’t want to burden him). He responded back; “No, let’s do this right”. He didn’t have one, and the next thing I know he’s headed to the Museum’s Office, my picture in hand, to see if they’ve got a sharpie, with me sheepishly following him. They didn’t either, now I’m really embarrassed. Next thing I know he’s headed to his car about 100 yards away from the building to get a sharpie. He came back with one, signed my picture, presented me with my picture, and THANKED ME!

Thank-you; Jerry; Mr. Jerry Coleman, American Patriot; LtCol Jerry Coleman, United States Marine, Retired.

Sincerely,

John

I have been a Padres fan since the PCL days and a Jerry Coleman fan since 1972. My family was fortunate to be in attendance on the USS Midway this past June when Jerry gave the Veteran’s Address. You could tell that he was uncomfortable speaking about himself, but had no problem praising the other heroes of his generation. Jerry was the heart and soul of the Padres and will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace.

RIP Jerry Coleman! I loved being at the Padre games with you, watching a great [play, and looking towards your booth to see if you were going to “Hang a Star” on that play!! Wonderful memories!!!

If I couldn’t get to the Padre game in person, listening to Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner call it on the radio was the next-best thing. And if I was watching at home, I always turned down the volume on the TV and listened to them on the radio instead. The baseball stories that Mr. Coleman’s shared were the best! And I always loved the “What’d you do today, Jerry?” part and stories about his dogs. Thank you for the memories, Mr. Coleman! May you rest in peace.

I remember my first Spring Training I went with my dad to Yuma. One of the first Padres autographs I got was from Jerry. He was the nicest guy. I had hoped to get to meet him again, but never got the chance. I used to ride around SD with my dad in our old 1971 Chrysler Newport listening to Padres games. He was my voice at Padres games when I couldn’t make it. He was my voice during the 1996 NLDS when Cammy hit 2 hr’s and tried to carry the Padres on his back only to fall short. It was only later on in my life that I learned that Jerry was also known as LTC Gerald F. Coleman, USMC Ret. I am a 23 year Army veteran who served in Iraq and every day I am thankful for not only him being my link to great memories with my dad, but for him being an OUTSTANDING human being, broadcaster, and soldier. I am crying mustard and brown tears today. I love and miss you Jerry. Go Padres!

I remember listening to Jerry and Ted calling the games on Cox Channel 4. When they left I too listened on the radio while watching on TV. The Navy took me and my family away from San Diego. We missed the Padres and San Diego a lot. Jerry’s play calling was one of those things! Now he will be doing the play calling in a better place with all of his WWII Marine’s to all of baseball players and Hall of Fame Announcers who have gone before him! May God bless the Coleman family and give them peace in their time of need!

1984 not only made me a Padre fan for life, but also made me fully appreciate the game of baseball! Jerry Coleman was a huge reason for that. His game calling and his humanity made him stand out among the greats. Here is my favorite memory of Jerry Coleman… “It’s a one hopper to Nettles, to WIGGINS! THE PADRES WIN THE PENNANT! THE PADRES WIN THE PENNANT! OH DOCTOR! YOU CAN HANG A STAR ON THAT BABY!!!

I met Jerry briefly during a book signing in La Jolla. He gave a very nice talk, and then patiently signed books for all his fans. To me, he is the leading sports figure of all time in San Diego. I also treasure a baseball signed by him several years ago. He and Ted were the best on the radio, and I always listened to the broadcast, even turning off the sound on the TV if I was watching a game. I loved the “What’d you do today Jerry?” segment, it’s sad the Moorad ownership interfered so badly in their broadcasting. Even when Jerry got older and sometimes forgot things, it was OK, because most times Ted bailed him out. He was great to listen to, and we radio fans loved the stories. Will miss him terribly. Hope the Padres will dedicate this season to him, maybe add a patch to their uniforms this year, and if we’re really lucky, win a Wold Series for him this year…(A fan can dream…!) Would love to see a shirt night with Jerry’s number on it!, and of course a game honoring his memory.
Radio Padres fan since Westgate park and Sandy Kofax days…
You can HANG A STAR on your life Mr. Coleman! Thanks for the great memories!

There are not many of us left in Ridgewood, New Jersey , who were here when Mr. Coleman called it home. Tomorrow, I will go up to Wellington Rd., and place a remembrance.

I remember this as if it was last year….I took my brother and God Son to go see the Padres play the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1989, and the boys were all excited to get to see their first live Pro Baseball game…Well, we had to take the elevators to our seats as they were on the Press level, as we got into the elevator there stood Jerry Coleman with his Padre shirt on and heading to the press box to get ready to do the ball game, my God soon who was 12 yrs old at the time told my brother how bad he wanted to get a ball and have the players sign it, Jerry looked at my God Son and brother and told them, “Hey you two you want to meet a couple players?” Of course they said yes.
Well, he took them back down the elevator to the players entrance and took them back in the locker room where they got to meet the entire team. Jerry got them both a ball and it was signed by all the players. The boys came back up to me (I was left with Ted Leitner for that short time) and they couldn’t believe what they just got to experience. The boys talked about it all game and till this very day it’s still talked about by both of them…I made sure the boys told Jerry thank you and they even gave him a huge hug for his troubles…
We are all going to miss Jerry but he’s in a much better place now calling out “Ole Man you can hang a star on that babe!!!” and giving that forgettable smile as he done it….
My prayers and condolence’s go out to the Coleman family and I thank you Jerry for those few minutes you took to make my boys day that day. Your going to be sorely missed, God Bless you and yours for the memories.

I have been a Padres fan for 32 years. I have been listening to Mr. Coleman since I was 14 years old. Thank you for the memories and my condolences to the Coleman family and Padres and Yankees organization/family.

I was visiting from New York last August and had to visit Petco with my wife and 16 year old son for a Padres-Orioles game. My son and I enjoy meeting players, and have made a hobby out of visiting many ballparks with baseballs in hand to get a signature and with luck, a player interaction. I told my son about my childhood memories of Jerry Coleman’s Yankee broadcasts and how my father had always told me that he was always a true gentleman. I half jokingly told my son to save a ball just in case we meet Mr Coleman, and since the Padres were so generous that day, we used them all. We took photos with the Colonel’s cardboard WWII cutout and figured that would be as close as we’d get. Upon leaving the ballpark, I spotted Jerry talking to a driver and immediately walked up to him explaining that I grew up hearing him in New York and that my dad and I always enjoyed his play by play. Asking him to sign a ticket for my son he was happy to oblige so long as I walked with him as he looked for his car and driver to pick him up. He was a complete gentleman, and insisted on getting my son’s name to personalize it. Together, we quickly found his driver and I thanked him, wishing him continued good health and fortune. I consider myself so fortunate to have had this brief interaction with a great man and American hero. God bless the memory of Colonel Jerry Coleman. Truly a sad day but let us all celebrate his long fulfilling life and his great uplifting contribution to the human spirit!

I still can’t believe the colonel has left us, I am in total shock, I first started listening to Padres games when I was 5. (1978) And I too cannot picture Padres baseball without Jerry Coleman. I used to go to games at Jack Murphy Stadium and listen to Jerry call the game as it was happening. I will never forget those special moments. The 84 Pennant Clincher, and the 98 NL Western Division Clincher. I was there that night when the Padres staged a comeback and beat the Dodgers to win 8-7 and win the Division, and Jerry was there to call it. Goodbye Jerry, we will miss you, and you will never be forgotten for your service to our country, and Padres baseball.

I can’t remember a time in Padres history without Jerry. When I was 4 years old my Dad took me and his radio to my first game, starting my life-long love of baseball. We would listen to Jerry announce as we watched the game live and he would bring a smile to our face with his unique commentary. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at a charity event. He was extraordinarily kind to me. In his presence, I could just tell that he was a kind man. I’m so grateful to have met him. Now whenever someone says “you can hang a star on that baby” the star will be Jerry himself smiling down. You will be missed.

My heart was crushed when I heard of Jerry’s passing. I can remember being a young girl listening to Jerry’s play by play of the Padres. This past summer my husband and I were sitting on our deck in CT listening to Jerry’s play by play of the Padres/Mets games. Jerry has been a part of my being a Padres fan for years. You will be missed by so many in so many states.

When I heard of Jerry passing on yesterday I told my 23 year old son that he has never known a time when Jerry wasn’t the announcer for the Padres. After saying that I realized that I don’t really remember the Padres without Jerry either. My family loves baseball and the beach and we spent many summer evenings driving home from the beach listening to Jerry call games.
One of my favorite things that i remember Jerry doing was telling all of us listeners how the second baseman or infielder could have played that ball better or needed to get in front of that ball rather than backhanding it. Things like that drove my son to work hard on his fielding.

Growing up in SD in the 80s, I have fond memories of listening to Padres games: from losing seasons when “hanging a star” was something fans at the Murph could look forward to, to the joy of the Padres winning their first pennant…Similar to when Ray Kroc passed away, I believe the Padres should honor Mr.Coleman all season long. Maybe with a JC with a star with stars & stripes in it(in honor of his service and catchphrase) in between.

There are two voices that, once you find them on your car radio, make you feel like everything is “right” in the world — Vin Scully and Jerry Coleman. San Diego was so lucky to have Jerry. He made so many years of losing teams – interesting and fun. One could only wish to have known him personally. You can hang a star on that man, in heaven.

I had the privilege of crossing paths with Mr. Coleman a couple times over the years, the best memory was in 1990 while in Cincinnati my wife and I ran into him while he was on one of his regular morning walks. After talking with him for a few minutes he asked “Do you kids have tickets for tonights game” excited and a little caught off guard we replied “Yes, we just picked up a couple nose bleed tickets” Well, while we saw a great game that included a Padre home run in the the ninth inning we realized that Jerry was probably going to offer us tickets that would have had a better view. Jerry, thanks again for being a true American Hero.

While Jerry’s passing was ultimately expected due to his advancing age, I was quite shocked and saddened when it became a fact on Sunday. He was such a wonderful broadcaster and man. One day I was at a game at Dodger Stadium decked out in my Padres jacket and hat seated in the third row midway between home and first base. Jerry came walking by on the field and asked me how I got such great seats! I told him I was lucky and that they were comped. He got a kick out of that! He was just a genuine gentleman and will be sorely missed.

I will always remember the call he made when the Padres went to the World Series for the first time. Oh Doctor! You can hang a star on that one as the Padres wrap the National League Pennant over their shoulders!

I was fortunate enough to meet Jerry ever so briefly at a Pepsi function at the ballpark. I worked for Pepsi at the time. Jerry spent some time chatting with us and I was just in awe at this gentleman. He was the nicest guy, very friendly. I loved that moment.

During my time serving in the military in San Diego county from ’84 – ’92 and until I left the area in 2004. I listened to Jerry announce games to many times to count. The man was a legend and I was at a loss when I saw the news of his passing. I offer my prayers to his family and the Padre family who have lost a Great One. Fair Winds and Following Seas. You will be missed. They don’t make em like that anymore. From a Veteran of Desert Storm and A Baseball Fan. Rest in Peace . ” You Can Hang A Star On That One!”

I met Jerry at Costco 2 years ago …… I was so excited , I ran up to him and said ” your Jerry Coleman , wow I’ve been listening to you since I was 16 !”. He smiled and said ” So does that make you about 20 years old now ?”……..I laughed and told him I’m a huge fan. I will miss him so much. I knew this day would come but I’m still in shock and very heartbroken. He made me laugh and loved our Padres win or lose !!!!! Thank you Mr. Coleman for all those years of greatness you gave us !!!!

RIP Jerry Coleman. You were and still are one of my heroes and role models! I understand that this comment will not capture everything that Jerry was, but I would really love to express how Jerry impacted my life. In a day of such happiness for San Diego with the Chargers and Aztecs winning, the only thing I can focus on is the life of Jerry Coleman.

As you all know, I am a huge baseball fan, not just a San Diego Padres fan, but a fan of the game and what it means to so many of us. Baseball to me means fathers and sons, putting the long day of school and work behind you and take trip to the past in watching a game that so many generations of Americans have loved and enjoyed. It means family trips across the country to watch the game played in modern cathedrals. I learned all that from Jerry Coleman.

Jerry’s broadcasts were a sense of comfort to me every night. He was my Walter Cronkite. He was the voice I looked forward to hearing everyday because he brought the world to my home. He made baseball, one of the craziest games ever invented, make sense. I will never forget the call of when the Padres won the 1998 National League Pennant and how we had on Jerry Coleman instead of the Fox Broadcast and how my Dad ran through the halls of our house shouting Oh Doctor!

Jerry Coleman is the humblest man I have ever had the chance to meet. In Peoria during Spring Training, he always took the time to meet with fans and give us a little story of his past. I remember I was sitting the row in front of him at the Peoria Sports Complex and he took the time to sign my glove about 10 minutes before first pitch while he was getting ready for the broadcast. He took time to ask me how I was enjoying Spring Training, when in fact I should be the one asking him all the questions.

That was my only interaction with Jerry and I will truly regret not taking more time to hear his stories as a soldier, a rookie of the year, a 4-time world series champion, but most importantly, a role model to us all! I am truly sad that I live in San Francisco now as tonight, I am unable to visit the statue at Petco Park and truly reflect and celebrate Jerry’s life and accomplishments. Bob Scanlan and Teddy, as you already know, that broadcast booth will always be a little empty without the Colonel. I hope you keep a seat for him for every broadcast because we all know he will be there watching over the Friars.

RIP Jerry. We lost an American Hero today. And as you say it: Oh Doctor….You Can Hang a Star on That One Baby! That One is You, Jerry. That One is You.

San Diego baseball has been my family tradition for four generations. We’ve always had season tickets, but our schedules didn’t always let us go to every home game. So my grandpa would sit me on his lap and we’d listen to Jerry’s broadcasts.

When I was little, I didn’t really get into the game as much as I do now. To keep me entertained, mom, gram, and gramps would tell me to wait for Jerry to “hang a star”. Whether we were at home or in the stadium, waiting for that star was my favorite part. I was so excited when he’d wave that little gold bling from the broadcast booth. We had the perfect view to see him from our old seats in the Murph!

He was also the first celebrity I ever met. I was only a shy 5 year old kid who was terrified to talk to him, but he shook my hand, patiently answered my baseball questions, and signed an autograph for me during fan appreciation day.

I’ve never known anyone but Jerry as the voice of the Padres and can’t imagine what games will be like now that he’s gone. It’s like he took a little piece of our family with him when he left. But I know gram and gramps were waiting with all the other Padres fans who’ve gone before to welcome him into the best baseball stadium in heaven. What a wonderful reception he must have had with a crowd like that!

Jerry Coleman made me the Padres and baseball fan that I am today. I remember getting into trouble several times when I was supposed to be in bed and had snuck a small transistor radio under my pillow so I could listen to the game. Jerry had a way of keeping you on the edge of your seat, almost as though you were there live watching the game. He is a true American hero and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to grow up listening to him. He will be greatly missed!

I am a big Padre fan and have been since I went to the first game in 1969. I have talked to Jerry many times in passing…at Lorna’s in University City to intermission at the Globe Theatre, but I now will always remember my last encounter outside Costco about 2 months ago. I was in one of their electric scooters and I headed straight at him and I said, “You’re Jerry” and he answered (while holding a phone to his ear, “Yes, I am. I’d flirt with you, but I’m talking to my wife!” He was always so easy to talk to and of course, I loved listening to him on the radio. RIP Jerry. You will always be remembered.

Dear Jerry ~ OH Doctor, I could sing your praises for the generations, but I know you’d be distinctly uncomfortable about that, and you’d genteelly redirect my praise to people whom you considered to be more worthy of praise besides yourself. But your Fans know better. OH Jerry! When you hung that tin foil covered cardboard star out the broadcasting window, you KNEW every single eye in the joint was glued to your booth, and we screamed and applauded and stomped every single play! OH Jerry when Ted Leitner would draw you out about your adventures in dog walking, we all hung on every word. I listened to your voice throughout my Fanship. My first game was when I was 10 months old at San Diego Stadium (next to Balboa Park, on wooden bleachers) You & Ted, MY Broadcasters for MY Padres.

You are Beloved. You will be Missed. And most of all, what I really want to say is:
THANK YOU Jerry, for the Gift of yourself that you shared with all us Padres Fans.

His call of Garveys home run is one of my first baseball memories and started me on a life long love of the Padres that I’m passing on to my children.

I remember when Channel 4 swapped Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner out with two other announcers, my dad would mute the tv and turn on the radio to AM 760 so that we could hear the voice of the Padres. Through the years, I would still rather listen to the games on radio than watch them just because Jerry painted a vocal picture better than tv announcers.
I quit paying attention to baseball for most of the 9 years I served in the Marine Corps, but the last two years I’ve had mlb network and listened to many games. I was excited to hear Jerry’s voice come through the broadcast every time. It still takes me back to summer afternoons with my dad with fresh popcorn and Pepsi, watching Tony Gwynn hold a batting clinic at every at bat.
Jerry Coleman: I’ll hang a star on that one, baby!

Jerry and his family lived on the same suburban street in Ridgewood, NJ, when I was a young child. Jerry was larger than life to me, especially because he had been a Yankee (he was broadcasting for the Yankees by the time I met him). Knowing hhim certainly solidified my allegiance to the Yankees. It also resulted in me bringing up my children as Yankee fans. Jerry’s son, “little” Jerry, was one of my best friends. We had many an escapade in our neighborhood with our pal Stevie Pinto. A great memory of “big” Jerry was when he took “little” Jerry and me to a Yankee game and we got to sit in the press box and also visited the locker room and shook hands with pitchers Bob Turley (who “crushed” my hand as I remember) and Jim Coates.

My thoughts are with my friend Jerry and his older sister Diane and the rest of the Coleman family.

Dave Chandler

Baseball is greatly suited for radio. As a child I would listen to Jerry and Bob on my clock radio every game. In 72, at the age of 11, I remember turning the radio real low so my parents wouldn’t know I was still up and listened to the second game of the double header against the Braves where Colbert got the record. I remember Thomas and Roberts grounding out and then Stahl got a base hit for Colbert to hit the HR and give him the record. Jerry’s broadcasts were the Padres.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jerry in person a few years ago at Petco. As a veteran, I immediately thanked him for his service to our country, especially learning of his missions flown in WWII. He shook my hand and almost laughing replied, “Oh didn’t you know? Me and Ted Williams took care of that issue all
by ourselves.” Then he gave a little wink.
A man of true grace and class. RIP Jerry. You are the “Star” we will always “hang” onto.

I’ll never forget that as a kid when Padres games were televised, but Jerry was calling them on the radio, my dad would turn down the volume on the TV and we would listen to the radio instead. It didn’t really feel like a Padres game unless Jerry was calling it. What a fine example he set for all of us. On the baseball field, on the battlefield, in the booth, and in life in general. Semper Fidelis, Jerry, and God bless.

One season back on his radio days my family and I drove east to the ballgames at 3 or 4 stadiums – I notified Jerry that we would be at certain stadiums on certain days. He gave me a number to call him, and he had tickets set up for the 4 of us and also announced on the radio that we were there from San Diego. I thought that was special.

I will always remember this gracious, honorable man. Listening to him announce all those terrible Padre teams in the 1970s was a great experience to this kid who loved baseball. He will always be for me the sound of Padre baseball. Praying for him and his family. He will be greatly missed.

Jerry’s voice was the San Diego Padre’s When I was younger Jerry met my mom and took me and my best friend Brian on tour at Jack Murphy stadium he took the time really showed me and my best friend what the Padre’s were all about I got to meet hall famer Tony Gwynn and Craig Neetles I will never forget that one word describes who Jerry Coleman was and will always be a class man RIP Jerry I will miss that incrediable voice of yours God bless

I lived in SD in the 70’s and always heard Coleman and his “oh doctor” after a good San Diego play.. Nate Colbert, Enzo Hernandez and all other Sd players of the time were my heroes and of coarse Mr. Coleman.. have a nice trip to heaven!

Jerry you will be missed. Jerry call the game right.

Jerry had a way with words, for sure… “Oh, Doctor” and “You can hang a star on that baby” were of course our favorites, but he said things that were so funny, and heartwarming, and sincere, you couldn’t help but love him! I used to take my basketball out to the driveway on hot summer nights in El Cajon, turn on the radio, and listen to Jerry, Rick Monday, and Ted Leitner call games until after dark when I was a kid… I have since moved away from San Diego, but every time I think of a baseball broadcast in my mind, it is Jerry’s voice I hear. 🙂

Jerry Coleman call the game the right way.

Jerry was a friend of my Aunt and Grandpa back in the early 80’s. I remember meeting him and him giving me my first tickets to a Padres game and ultimately joining the Jr. Padres Club. He was an amazing man and will never be forgotten. We can all HANG A STAR for one of the best! Jerry, we love you and you will be missed by all.

Every game I went to as a kid before my family moved to Florida, I would look up at the press box after every play to see if he was going to hang a star on it. I’d get really excited every time he did. RIP Sir!

Through all the joy and celebrating of two big wins in San Diego with the Chargers victory over the Bengals and the impressive win by San Diego State over Kansas came the heartbreaking news of Jerry Coleman’s death.

For me growing up as a Padres fan. hearing Jerry every year coming from Yuma for the start of spring training always meant optimism for what I would hope was a great season to come. He was the voice of my beloved Padres and all was right in Padre Land when Jerry was on the air.

As I became involved in covering the Padres for AP Radio and Metro Networks, I got to interact with Jerry on a regular basis at Petco Park as he would sit either next to me or just across the aisle and we would share stories of everything from current Padres to those of the past and even from memories of Jerry’s Yankees days. It’s those times I will remember forever.

Jerry’s life speaks for itself: war hero, Padres icon etc but it was the man behind all of those accomplishments that outweighs everything else. He was truly one of the most amazing persons I have ever met and I thank him for all he did for this country and for the Padres and its fans – RIP Jerry, you will be missed. You touched many people’s lives and was admired by even more.

As I sit here, remembering Jerry I am thinking of him being greeted in Heaven by his former Yankee teammates and then by former Padres owner Ray Kroc who asks Jerry about the last 30 years of “his team” – The thought of Jerry telling Ray what has happened to the Padres and that the “O’Malley family owns them and that the brown was replaced with blue makes me laugh at how Ray would take that news. But the trusting voice of Jerry calms Ray by reassuring him that the Padres are in good hands!

As the Padres plan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first NL Championship in 2014, one can’t help to think back to January of that year when we lost Ray and how the year played out here in San Diego. Hopefully we can honor Jerry’s memory in the same way we did Ray’s then.

ne of the greatest opportunities I have expierenced in life was to meet a hero of my childhood. The New York Yankees were my team to watch and listen too back in the 50’s and 60’s. As an usher at the Peoria Sports Complex I got to see and meet Jerry and talk with him. A dream fullfilled you might say. I think if it weren’t time for a game to start each day we could have talked about the thrills of the past and all the Yankee games. My prayers go out to all his family and May he rest in peace. AMEN!

Semper fi. marine. g-d bless you for all you have done for all of us. from you heroic days as a combat pilot to your Yankee playing days to your time I’m the booth you were one of the best.Semper fi

Since the age of 5 I’ve listened to Jerry Coleman call San Diego Padres baseball games. I am now 36 years old and still a die hard Padres fan. Some of my favorite childhood memories are taking summer vacations to San Diego to attend Padres games. Even on the days when I wasn’t in the stands to root on the guys, I was sitting in my grandma’s house listening to Jerry on the radio. He brought such excitement to the game, he made me feel like I was there in the stadium. I will forever miss his “You can hang a star on that baby, Ohhhhhh Doctor!!” Thank you Jerry for being such a big part of my childhood and my adult life. There will NEVER be anyone that will make me love and appreciate the game the way you did. You will forever be in my heart. I can’t thank you enough for your service to our country and for your years of service to the team that I still love today. Heaven now has one of the biggest and brightest stars that it will ever have! And that star will forever shine over San Diego! Thank you Jerry! You will forever be rememberd and missed!

I will miss Jerry so much. I listened to him on the radio as a child and young man over the years. I appreciate what he taught me about the game and about being a gentleman. Above all, he was a kind man. Good bye, Jerry.

You will be missed Jerry. I have been lucky to hear you call our Padres. You’re the best!

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