Jerry Coleman: Wikis


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Jerry Coleman

Jerry Coleman, August 2005
Second baseman
Born: September 14, 1924 (1924-09-14) (age 85)
San Jose, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 20, 1949 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1957 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average     .263
Hits     558
Runs batted in     217

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Born September 14, 1924 (1924-09-14) (age 85)
Nickname The Colonel
Place of birth San Jose, California
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
*Marine Forces Reserve
Years of service 1942-1964[1]
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit VMTB-341
Battles/wars World War II
*Solomon Islands campaign
*Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Korean War
Gold star
Gold star
Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Silver star
Silver star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Air Medal (13)
Other work New York Yankee Second Baseman
San Diego Padres Radio Announcer

Gerald Francis "Jerry" Coleman (born September 14, 1924) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman and, currently, an analyst and former play-by-play radio announcer for the San Diego Padres.


Playing career

Born in San Jose, California, Coleman graduated from Lowell High School,[2] then spent his entire playing career with the New York Yankees. He played 6 years in their minor league system before reaching the big club in 1949. Coleman hit .275 in his first year and led all second basemen in fielding percentage en route to finishing 3rd in rookie of the year balloting.

Coleman avoided a sophomore jinx by earning a selection to the All-Star team in 1950. He then shined in the World Series with brilliant defense, earning him the BBWAA's Babe Ruth Award as the series' most valuable player.

Nicknamed "The Colonel", due to being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel,[3] Coleman was also a Marine aviator and left baseball to serve in the Korean War, and postponing his entry into professional baseball in World War II. While a Marine Corps aviator he flew 120 combat missions, receiving numerous honors and medals including two Distinguished Flying Crosses,[4] and has been honored in recent years, including being inducted into the USMC Sports Hall of Fame,[5] for his call to duty—even more so following the events of September 11, 2001. He is the only Major League Baseball player to have seen combat in two wars, though not the only player to serve as Marine aviator in two wars, a distinction he shares with Ted Williams. Williams, however, served in combat only in the Korean War, having served as a flight instructor during World War II.[6]

Coleman's career declined after injuring himself the following season, relegating him to a bench role. He was forced to retire after the 1957 season, but he left on a good note; hitting .364 in a World Series loss against the Milwaukee Braves.

Broadcasting career

In 1960, Coleman became a broadcaster for the CBS Radio Network and in 1963 began a seven-year run calling New York Yankees' games on WCBS Radio and WPIX-TV. Coleman's WPIX call of ex-teammate Mickey Mantle's 500th career home run in 1967 was brief and from the heart:

Here's the payoff pitch... This is IT! There it goes! It's out of here!

After broadcasting for the California Angels for two years, in 1972 Coleman became lead radio announcer for the San Diego Padres, a position he has held every year since but 1980, when the Padres hired him to manage (predating a trend of broadcasters-turned-managers that started in the late 1990s). He also called national regular-season and postseason broadcasts for CBS Radio from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.

Coleman is also famous for his pet phrases "Oh Doctor!", "You can hang a star on that baby!", "And the beat goes on", and "The natives are getting restless".

During an interview in the height of the steroids scandal in 2005, Coleman stated "if I'm emperor, the first time 50 games, the second time 100 games and the third strike you're out", referring to how baseball should suspend players for being caught taking steroids. After the 2005 World Series, Major League Baseball put a similar policy in effect.

He is known as the "Master of the Malaprop" for making sometimes embarrassing mistakes on the microphone [2], but he is nonetheless popular. In 2005, he was given the Ford C. Frick Award of the National Baseball Hall of Fame for broadcasting excellence, and is one of four Frick award winners that also played in the Major Leagues (along with Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek and Bob Uecker)[7].

Coleman is believed to be the oldest active play-by-play announcer in the Major Leagues. In February 2007, he signed a contract extension through the 2009 season. [3] Coleman would be 85 at the end of that contract. In the fall of 2007 Jerry was inducted to the Radio Hall of Fame as a Sports Broadcaster for his years as the play by play voice of the San Diego Padres.

Coleman no longer handles play-by-play duties, leaving Ted Leitner and Andy Masur to cover most of the radio broadcasting efforts for each Padres game. He does, however, still work middle innings as a color analyst. In the 2010 season he is expected to cut his broadcast schedule down to 20-30 home day games.[8]

Coleman collaborated on his autobiography with longtime Village Voice writer Richard Goldstein; their book American Journey: My Life on the Field, in the Air, and on the Air was published in 2008.

See also


  1. ^ "JERRY COLEMAN". MARINE CORPS SPORTS HALL OF FAME. Marine Corps Community Services. March 13, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Famous Lowell Graduates". Lowell Alumni Association. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Grant, Kris (May 21, 2008). "Veterans Memorial to honor Jerry Coleman". La Jolla Light (MainStreet Media Group). Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "2005 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY". Marine Corps Community Services. 29 July 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Truth About Jerry Coleman". opinion. May 20, 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  7. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Ford C. Frick Award
  8. ^ Maffei, John (2010-02-04). North County Times. 

External links

Preceded by
Joe Page
Babe Ruth Award
Succeeded by
Phil Rizzuto
Preceded by
Roger Craig
San Diego Padres Managers
Succeeded by
Frank Howard
Preceded by
Lon Simmons
Ford C. Frick Award
Succeeded by
Gene Elston

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