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Padres announcer, ex-Yankee Jerry Coleman dies at 89

Jan. 5, 2014 at 9:32 PM   |   Comments

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Longtime San Diego Padres baseball announcer, ex-major leaguer and World War II hero Jerry Coleman died Sunday, the team announced. He was 89.

Coleman, who took over behind the microphone for the Padres in 1972, remained the team's lead broadcaster until recent years, when his work schedule was abbreviated.

No cause of death was released in a statement issued by the Padres, who called him "a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre."

The club announced Petco Park would remain open Sunday night to allow fans to visit his statue.

Before beginning his broadcasting career, Coleman played nine seasons at second base for the New York Yankees from 1949-57, participating in six World Series. He was named an American League All-Star and World Series Most Valuable Player in 1950, when New York swept Philadelphia in four games.

He sported a lifetime .263 average with 16 home runs and 217 RBI in 723 games.

Coleman served as a Marine pilot in World War II and the Korean War, twice interrupting his baseball career. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 13 Air Medals and three Navy citations before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

He is survived by his wife Maggie, children and grandchildren.

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