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Former New York Yankee Jerry Coleman Dies at Age 89

January 6th, 2014 at 1:25 PM
By Karen Vankat

Four time New York Yankee World Champion, Jerry Coleman, 89, passed away Sunday after succumbing to complications from a head injury he sustained in a recent fall. Coleman broke in with the Yankees in 1949 and won rookie of the year. While with the Yankees Coleman appeared in six World Series and won four World Series Championships,1950 All-Star selection, 1950 Babe Ruth Award given to the MVP of the World Series and honored in 2005 with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

'Coleman, Jerry' photo (c) 2010, SDASM Archives - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

Jerry played for the Yankees from 1949-1957 having his baseball career interrupted by both World War II and the Korean War. His lifetime batting average was.263 with 558 hits and 217 RBIs. 

They called him "The Colonel" in reference to his military service as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps. Coleman was highly decorated Marine pilot who flew 120 missions and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 13 Air Medals. Jerry was inducted into the USMC Sports Hall of Fame for his call to duty and his service in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1942-1969.

In 1960 Coleman began his broadcasting career for CBS and would later call New York Yankees' games on WPIX television and WCBS radio for seven years. Jerry would than bolt to the West Coast where is was born and do radio for two years with the Anaheim Angels before becoming the San Diego Padres broadcaster in 1972. The Padres hired him for one year to manage in 1980 and afterward returned to the broadcast booth for the Padres where he would stay until 2010.

Coleman was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame as a Sports Broadcaster in 2007. In September of 2012 the Padres unveiled a statue of Coleman at Petco Park joining Padre great Tony Gwynn as the only two immortalized at the ballpark.

Jerry was always a fixture at the Yankees Old-Timer's Game every year and prided himself on always being a part of the Yankees family.

We thank Jerry for his service to our country. Semper Fi, once a Marine always a Marine.

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Tags: Baseball, Jerry Coleman, Marine Corps, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres

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