Skip to comments.Jerry Coleman, Yankees legend, war hero and Hall of Fame broadcaster, dies at 89
Posted on 01/05/2014 6:07:14 PM PST by EveningStar
Jerry Coleman, truly a man for all seasons - a decorated war hero, Yankee World Series MVP and iconic, Hall-of-Fame San Diego Padres broadcaster - died Sunday at age 89, after a career of more than 70 years in baseball, the Padres announced.
Coleman, a baseball treasure, signed originally with the Yankees out of the San Francisco sandlots in 1942, only to spend the next three years as a marine bomber pilot in the Pacific theatre of World War II, flying 57 combat missions over the Solomon Islands. Upon returning from the service in 1946, Coleman worked his way back up through the Yankees' minor league system, joining them in 1949 when he hit .275 and led all American League second basemen in fielding (.980).
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As a life-long Red Sox fan..back in the 50’s when I was a youngster, and first discovered the joys of baseball statistics, I’d spend hours trying to extrapolate what Ted Williams’ career HRs and RBIs would have been had he not lost 4 years to military service, AND had he played in the old, original Yankee Stadium, with its close in right field porch.
I wonder if he was in the same unit as "Tail-gunner" Joe McCarthy?
Heard some of his network games (CBS game of week, playoffs)
The pitcher is throwing up in the bullpen.
That play was 6 to 4 to 3, for those of you scoring in bed.
The runner slides into second with a stand-up double.
Thanks for your service in both WWII and the Korean War Jerry Coleman.
‘Winfield hit his head against the wall and it’s rolling toward the infield.’
Best stat was surviving over 200 combat missions in 2 wars!
I looked up his career statistics, and they were far from those of a legend. In his nine years with the Damn Yankees, he hit .263 with a grand total of 16 home runs. In only four of those years did he play in at least 100 games, so he was either injured or a bench warmer for a good part of his playing career.
No one in his right mind would put him in the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, but apparently there are a bunch of fools who did. (It would be comparable to giving Yasser Arafat the Nobel Peace Prize). Listening to him do play-by-play on the radio was painful as sitting on a dentist's chair. You didn't know what was going on much of the time because he mangled his descriptions by his inability to get the appropriate words out of his mouth, and is malapropos were legendary.
Coleman was a war hero, and I'll give him credit where credit is due. But as a major league player, he was mediocre, and as a baseball broadcaster, incompetent.
You probably never got to listen to Waite Hoyt, the Reds' play-by-play man when I moved to Cincinnati.
In comparison, Coleman comes off like Mel Allen.
Actually, I did listen to Waite Hoyt. The Reds' games were on WCKY, which had a powerful signal at night. His thing was to do play-by-play in the past tense. His radio descriptions were extremely brief, as if he thought he was doing TV and his audience was watching the action. His claim to fame as a broadcaster was his telling stories about (his former Yankee teammate) Babe Ruth during rain delays.
Even non-existent. Often, he would get caught up in the excitement, start a comment "Ah...", then remain stuck in this mode, "ah........ah........ah", leaving the listener to rely on crowd reaction to determine what might have happened.
Finally, Hoyt would conclude with a succinct "That makes it 4-to-2, Reds".