We have sad news to report tonight. Former Yankee second baseman and former Hall of Fame broadcaster, Jerry Coleman has passed away. Coleman, who played his entire career with the Yankees was 89-years-old. He played with the Yankees from 1949 – 1957, won four World Series titles and was named the Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year.
After his baseball career ended, Coleman became a broadcaster. He was hired by CBS in 1960, and in 1963 began broadcasting Yankee games for CBS radio and WPIX television. In 1970 and 1971, he called Angels’ games then was hired as the lead radio guy for the Padres where he’d remain for the rest of his career. He earned the Ford C. Frick award in 2005 for his radio work, was a regular at Old Timer’s Day at the Stadium and the Padres unveiled a 7’5″ statue of his likeness outside of Petco Field in 2012.
Coleman was in the military and is the only Major League Baseball player to have seen combat in two wars – World War II and the Korean War. He flew 57 combat missions in the Solomon Islands during World War II and in 1951, he was recalled into the service for the Korean conflict. He returned to the Yankees in 1953 but wasn’t the same player and ended his career as a utility player.
Coleman called former teammate Mickey Mantle‘s 500th home run in 1967 when he was working for WPIX. “Here’s the payoff pitch… This is it! There it goes! It’s out of here!”
Rest in peace and Semper Fi, Colonel.