New York Yankees 1949-1957
1949 Rookie of the year. . .Played in the 1950 All-Starr game. . . Named the 1950 World Series MVP. . .Played in 6 World Series. . .Won 8 Division Titles. . .Been the voice of the San Diego Padres for 33 years. . .Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 as the Ford C. Frick award winner. . .Born September 14, 1924, in San Jose, California...
Gerald "Jerry" Francis Coleman was born in San Jose, CA on September 14, 1924. After high school, Coleman signed with the New York Yankee's minor league system at the age of 17. Once Coleman turned 18, he postponed his baseball career and joined the Marine Corps as a Naval Aviation Cadet in the V-5 program in San Francisco, CA. In April 1944, Coleman was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and awarded the Gold Wings of a Naval Aviator at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, TX. Coleman departed to Guadalcanal and was assigned to the 341 Marine Scout Bombing Squadron (The Torrid Turtles). Coleman flew 57 combat missions in the SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber throughout campaigns involving Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines. During this time, Coleman would earn two Distinguished Flying Crosses and seven Air Medals.
In January 1946, Coleman was moved to the inactive list under the 12th Marine Corps Reserve District and resumed his baseball career fighting his way through the New York Yankee farm system. In 1949, the New York Yankees picked up Coleman from the minors and the graceful fielding second baseman became the starter for the Yankees in 1949. Coleman began a run that may not be matched by anyone today. In his nine years as the Yankees second baseman, Coleman played in 6 World Series and won 8 Division Titles. Coleman earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1949, played in the 1950 All-Star game, and was named the 1950 World Series MVP.
In May 1952, Coleman was recalled to active duty for combat service in the Korean War. After transition training, Coleman was transferred to Korea for service with the 323 Marine Attack Squadron. During this time, Coleman flew 63 close air support and interdiction strike missions earning six more Air Medals (13 Total), the Korean Service Medal with two stars, and the United Nations Service Medal. In August 1953, he was transferred back to the United States and was put on reserve status where he would once again suit up with the Yankees as the their starting second baseman until his retirement in 1957. Coleman would remain in the Marine Corps Reserves until he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1964.
After leaving the playing field in 1957, Coleman joined the broadcasting booth with stops in New York and California, as well as 22 seasons calling the CBS Radio Network's Game of the Week. In 1980, Coleman left the broadcasting booth to manage the San Diego Padres for one season. The Padres finished 6th with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses. After the season, Coleman returned to his chair as the announcer for the San Diego Padres. In 2005, Coleman will celebrate his 33rd season as the voice of the San Diego Padres and has also been selected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the Ford C. Frick Award recipient as an announcer.