Padres broadcaster Coleman dies at 89

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Padres broadcaster Coleman dies at 89

Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman, a former second baseman for the New York Yankees who interrupted his pro career to fly as a Marine Corps pilot in World War II and Korea, died Sunday after a brief illness, the San Diego Padres said.

He was 89.

Coleman spent more than four decades with the Padres as a broadcaster and managed them in 1980.

Padres President Mike Dee said Coleman died at a hospital Sunday afternoon. He said the team was notified by Coleman’s wife, Maggie.

“It’s a sad day,” Padres Manager Bud Black said. “We’re losing a San Diego icon. He’s going to be missed.”

The Padres planned to keep Coleman’s statue at Petco Park open until 11:30 p.m. Sunday so fans could pay tribute. The team unveiled the statue in September 2012. While recounting his military career in an interview days before the statue was unveiled, Coleman said: “Your country is bigger than baseball.”

Coleman spent more than 70 years in pro baseball, a career that included four World Series titles with the Yankees. He flew 120 missions combined in World War II and Korea. AP

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