Today, an estimated 5000 people turned out for the public memorial service celebrating the life of the late Jerry Coleman. The service took place at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. “The Colonel” had been the central figure in the Padres baseball organization for over four decades. Jerry’s broadcasting voice will be missed by generations of fans. An excellent argument can be made that he was the most loved public figure in the history of our city.
I apologize that my camera isn’t of the highest quality. I do hope you enjoy a few images that I captured.
Dick Enberg noted that the stage was located on Jerry’s favorite spot: second base. After the playing of the National Anthem by the Marine Band, F-18 fighter jets roared overhead in the missing man formation.
After speeches by Randy Jones, Bob Chandler, Ron Fowler and Ron Roberts, fan-favorite former Padres player Tim Flannery sang his own stirring composition about Jerry Coleman, the man who hung the stars.
Joe Torre received great applause when he related a few humorous and touching old Yankees stories, and spoke of Jerry Coleman’s heroism and humility.
Ted Leitner, Jerry’s broadcast partner for many years, brought laughter and tears with his intimate accounts of a baseball legend’s modest personality and funny quirks. He concluded that Jerry Coleman was the best man he’d ever known.
After a salute by the Marine Corps, a T-6 SNJ aircraft from 1942, similar to the one Coleman flew in World War II passed overhead to honor the former Marine.
Jerry’s daughter Chelsea then spoke about her dad. She said that all he really lived for was his country, the game of baseball, and the people he loved. Dick Enberg concluded the memorial by saying that we all were fortunate to be part of the legacy of Jerry Coleman.