Longtime voice of the Padres Jerry Coleman dies at 89
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Longtime San Diego Padres baseball announcer Jerry
Coleman, who as a player won four World Series rings with the New York Yankees,
died today at age 89, Padre officials announced.
Petco Park will let fans visit Coleman's statue and pay respects
until 11:30 p.m.. Fans will be allowed in through the East Village Gate.
“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,” a team
statement said. “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.”
Longtime Dodger announcer Vin Scully said he admired Coleman as a man
and as a broadcaster.
“We were much richer for having known him,” Scully said. “He had a
wonderful and full life as a major league player, a war hero and a Hall of Fame
broadcaster. Our sympathies are extended to his family and all the many
wonderful friends that he had. We will miss him dearly.”
Coleman began his professional baseball career in 1942, as a New York
Yankees minor leaguer and made his big league debut in 1949. He played nine
seasons as a second baseman and played on six World Series clubs.
In 1950, after the Yankees swept the Phillies, Coleman was named an
American League All-Star and World Series Most Valuable Player.
The La Jolla resident retired from professional baseball after the 1957
season with a lifetime .263 average, 16 home runs and 217 runs batted in during
Like many players of his era, Coleman interrupted his professional
baseball career twice to serve as a Marine pilot — once in World War II and
again in the Korean Conflict.
Coleman earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 13 Air Medals and three
Navy citations before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was the only major
league player to see active combat in two wars, according to the Padres.
In 1972, Coleman became lead radio play-by-play announcer for the
Padres, a role he held every year except 1980, which he spent as the team's
He also called national regular season games for CBS Radio until the 90s.
Team officials said that this season was Coleman's 40th, and he still
stirred fans with his patented “Oh Doctor!” and “Hang a Star!” calls, which
became signatures of Padre baseball.
He was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame in 2001, the U.S. Marine
Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and both the National Radio Hall of Fame in
Chicago and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.