Jerry Coleman, August 2005
September 14, 1924 |
San Jose, California
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 20, 1949 for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1957 for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||217|
|Career highlights and awards|
September 14, 1924 |
San Jose, California
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps
*Marine Forces Reserve
|Years of service||1942-1964|
|Battles/wars||World War II
*Solomon Islands campaign
*Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
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 (MLB) second baseman for the New York Yankees and manager of the San Diego Padres for one year. Currently, he is an analyst and former play-by-play radio announcer for the San Diego Padres. 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 War and World War II. He later became a broadcaster, and he was honored in 2005 by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for his broadcasting contributions.
Born in San Jose, California, Coleman graduated from Lowell High School, 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. He was the Associated Press' rookie of the year in 1949, and finishing third in balloting by Baseball Writers Association of America.
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, 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, and has been honored in recent years, including being inducted into the USMC Sports Hall of Fame, for his call to duty. He is the only Major League Baseball player to have seen combat in two wars.
Coleman's career declined after he was injured 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. He appeared in the World Series six times in his career, winning four of them.
In 1958, Yankees' General Manager George Weiss named Coleman personnel director, which involved Coleman scouting minor league players. Roy Hamey terminated Coleman from that position, when Harney became the Yankees' General Manager. It was only after Colemen met with Howard Cosell that Coleman considered becoming a broadcaster.
In 1960, Coleman began a broadcasting career with CBS television, conducting pregame interviews on the network's Game of the Week broadcasts. His broadcasting career nearly ended that year; he was in the midst of an interview with Cookie Lavagetto when the national anthem began playing. Coleman kept the interview going through the anthem, prompting an avalanche of angry letters to CBS.
In 1963 he began a seven-year run calling New York Yankees' games on WCBS radio and WPIX television. 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, 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 five Frick award winners that also played in the Major Leagues (along with Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek, Tim McCarver, and Bob Uecker).
In the fall of 2007 Jerry was inducted to the National 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. As of the 2010 season he reduced his broadcast schedule down to 20-30 home day games. As of November 2010[update], Coleman is the third oldest active play-by-play announcer, behind only fellow Hall of Famers Felo Ramirez and Ralph Kiner.
Coleman collaborated on his autobiography with longtime New York Times writer Richard Goldstein; their book An American Journey: My Life on the Field, In the Air, and On the Air was published in 2008. On September 15, 2012, the San Diego Padres unveiled a Jerry Coleman statue at Petco Park. Coleman's statue is only the second statue at Petco Park, the other being of Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn.
||This biographical section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013)|
Coleman is the recipient of the following medals:
- 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
- "JERRY COLEMAN". MARINE CORPS SPORTS HALL OF FAME. Marine Corps Community Services. March 13, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "Famous Lowell Graduates". Lowell Alumni Association. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "Coleman given Ford C. Frick Award". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 23, 2005. Archived from the original on October 27, 2011. "Coleman played in six World Series and was The Associated Press' rookie of the year in 1949. He was also the MVP of the 1950 World Series."
- "Lt. Col. Gerald 'Jerry' F. Coleman - Pilot". Rogues. high iron illustrations. 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- Grant, Kris (May 21, 2008). "Veterans Memorial to honor Jerry Coleman". La Jolla Light (MainStreet Media Group). Archived from the original on October 27, 2011.
- "2005 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY". Marine Corps Community Services. July 29, 2005. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "The Truth About Jerry Coleman". opinion. voiceofsandiego.org. May 20, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
- "Museum pays tribute to Jerry Coleman". The San Diego Union-Tribune. October 27, 2011. Archived from the original on October 27, 2011.
- Anderson, Dave (October 28, 2009). "The Yankees’ World Series Ring Leaders". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 27, 2011.
- Bill Center (September 16, 2012). "Hang a Star on that Statue". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- Smith, Curt (2005). Voices of Summer. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1446-8.
- Jay Posner (February 23, 2005). "Baseball will honor Padres' longtime voice with broadcast award". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- Geisler Young. "Jerry Coleman Quotes". Quotes. Baseball-almanac. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Ford C. Frick Award
- Maffei, John (February 4, 2010). "Coleman will have reduced role in 2010". North County Times. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- Bryan Hoch (November 11, 2010). "Marines, not baseball, Coleman's proudest days". mlb.com news. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 18, 2011. "Still enjoying his time in the game as baseball's oldest active play-by-play announcer with the Padres, Coleman is just grateful to have come home safely."
- Chris Jenkins (September 14, 2012). "Coleman gets the star - and the statue - at Petco". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Broadcasters". San Diego Padres. Major League Baseball. Retrieved 11 July 2013. "His military service record includes 120 missions, earning him two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 13 Air Medals and three Navy citations."
- Baseball Hall of Fame - Frick Award recipient
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Jerry Coleman discusses his career in the Marines and in baseball