Jerry Coleman has passed – one of the greatest baseball announcers, ever. As a child, I consumed baseball every way I could – whether it be the daily box score, television, and at night, radio. Radio came in handy when I was supposed to be sleeping. I owned a mini Sony radio that I would place under my pillow at night. For a couple years, I lived in Fountain Valley and was able to tune in to the San Diego based KFMB, 760AM. I would first listen to the end of the Angels game and then switch over to KFMB hoping the Padres game was still going for some extra baseball delight. And when the Pads were still going, I would soak it in, spending my final waking moments of the day to Coleman’s play-by-play.
I still recall attending a Padres game as a boy and looking up to the booth and watch him dangle out the star after a great defensive play by the Pads. The guy was a true American hero for his numerous combat missions during WWII and the Korean War, earned World Series MVP honors for the Yankees, and even managed the Padres for a season. They don’t make ’em like that today!
One of my prized possessions is a custom made photo that I sent him a couple years back, which he was kind enough to sign and send back to me. His storytelling, blunt style, unscripted humor, and occasional misspeaks will not be forgotten. He was one of a kind. Farewell, Jerry.
© 2014, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.