Former Yankees second baseman Jerry Coleman — who’s career was disrupted by two wars, and who became a Hall of Fame broadcaster in San Deigo — has died at 89 years old.
“Jerry Coleman was a hero and a role model to myself and countless others in the game of Baseball,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a released statement. “He had a memorable, multifaceted career in the National Pastime — as an All-Star during the great Yankees’ dynasty from 1949-1953, a manager and, for more than a half-century, a beloved broadcaster, including as an exemplary ambassador for the San Diego Padres. But above all, Jerry’s decorated service to our country in both World War II and Korea made him an integral part of the Greatest Generation. He was a true friend whose counsel I valued greatly.
“Major League Baseball began its support of Welcome Back Veterans to honor the vibrant legacy of heroes like Jerry Coleman. Our entire sport mourns the loss of this fine gentleman, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, fans of the Padres and the Yankees, and his many admirers in Baseball and beyond.”
Coleman won four World Series with the Yankees and was named World Series MVP in 1950.
“The best second baseman I ever saw on the double play,” Yankees manager Casey Stengel once said.
Coleman spent his entire playing career with the Yankees, and he became well known as a broadcaster with the Padres. He received the Ford C. Frick Award in 2005, taking his place in the broadcaster’s wing of the Hall of Fame. According to The Associated Press, Coleman died at a hospital after a brief illness.