Jerry Coleman memorial statue at Petco Park.

jerry coleman statue at petco park

Another very well-liked person in San Diego is Padres radio announcer Jerry Coleman. His accomplishments have been so impressive, he’s got a statue and memorial at Petco Park, just inside the east entrance to the Park at the Park.

I remembering listening to Jerry when I was a kid. At the time he did the Padres radio play-by-play, and was teamed with Dave Campbell who provided color commentary. Today, at the lively age of 89, he takes part in the broadcast during day games.

Jerry, also known as “The Colonel”, was named major league baseball Rookie of the Year in 1949 as Yankees second baseman. In 1950 his defensive plays made him most valuable player in the World Series.

As a Marine aviator, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Coleman interrupted his baseball career to serve in the Korean War. He flew 120 combat missions and received two Distinguished Flying Crosses. He also flew during World War II, making him the only major league baseball player to serve in two wars.

Jerry, famous for his enthusiastic phrases “Oh, Doctor!” and “You can hang a star on that baby!” was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.

The face of a true American hero.
The face of a true American hero.

Statue of Padres batting champ Tony Gwynn.

statue of padres superstar tony gwynn

A good argument can be made that the most-liked person in San Diego is Tony Gwynn. He’s one of the friendliest, most good-natured guys you’ll ever find, not to mention one of the best hitters ever in the history of baseball. He was voted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible. He’s also got a great statue in East Village at the center of Petco’s Park at the Park. You’re looking at it!

Tony Gwynn, affectionately called Mr. Padre, played 20 years for the San Diego Padres, winning eight batting titles and five Gold Glove awards. He appeared in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game 15 times! Today he’s the head baseball coach for San Diego State University.

Tony Gwynn statue with Showley Bros. Candy Factory in background.
Tony Gwynn statue with Showley Bros. Candy Factory in background.
Inspirational words of Tony Gwynn's father.
Inspirational words of Tony Gwynn’s father.

A quote from Tony’s father Charles appears on the statue’s base:  “If you work hard good things will happen.”  These words inspired one of the greatest hitters in the history of professional baseball.

UPDATE…

Here are a few closer photos that I took years later, after the tragic passing of Tony.

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Kids enjoy tiny ball field at Petco Park.

small kids baseball field at petco park

Downtown residents and visitors to East Village have access to a great public resource. Green grass, shady trees, a large playground, and views of the city can all be freely enjoyed (when the San Diego Padres aren’t playing a home game) at the Park at the Park!

Situated beyond Petco Park’s outfield, surrounded by sleek city buildings, this public park has a small ball field which is perfectly sized for children. In this pic, taken near the end of the baseball season (the Padres were in San Francisco), a family is seen walking across the diamond. Those patches of bare dirt testify to the popularity of the park during the summer and long baseball season.

Here’s a pic taken on 2/8/14 during Padres FanFest…

Kids enjoy small baseball field during Padres Fanfest.
Kids enjoy small baseball field during Padres FanFest.

Here’s a pic taken on 7/6/14 during a Sunday afternoon Padres game. This year Bumble Bee (the tuna company) is sponsoring the kids baseball field, with promotional signs on the outfield fence.  A new food concession stand has been added just beyond right field…

Folks watch a game at the kids ball field in Park at the Park.
Folks watch a game at the kids baseball field in Park at the Park.

And finally a pic taken when no one was around…

Scoreboard beyond outfield of tiny baseball diamond sponsored by Bumble Bee.
Scoreboard beyond outfield of tiny baseball diamond sponsored by Bumble Bee.

Photos of San Diego Entrepreneur Day.

san diegans at entrepreneur day

I was walking downtown through East Village yesterday when I happened to stumble upon San Diego Entrepreneur Day.

According to their website, the annual event is a celebration meant to assist creative people, including students. Entrepreneur Day helps those who’d like to take their unique business concepts to reality. The event presents many potential collaboration and partnership opportunities.

Large and small businesses had set up displays along the street, and people were checking them out. Lots of cool swag was being given away. Several food trucks were part of the action, but I already had lunch waiting at home.

dancing at san diego entrepreneur day

The second pic shows some energetic dancers having a great time performing on a stage. I’m inspired!

Cool pics of San Diego’s new downtown library!

The new central library as seen from the intersection of K Street and 11th Avenue.
The new central library has become a dazzling landmark in San Diego’s East Village.

Here are a few more cool pics of San Diego’s brand new Central Library! I took these photographs today after the ceremony celebrating the grand opening. Check out the modern, inventive architecture of this truly eye-popping downtown landmark!

The first photo is from 11th Avenue and K Street, in the heart of East Village, facing roughly northeast. This is the way you’d likely go if walking from Petco Park. What you see is just a fraction of the cool sight to come…

view of new san diego library from south

Here’s a photograph from almost due south. Wow! Beautiful landscaping and palm trees complement the distinctive building, which features a metal lattice dome and a gigantic, airy reading room. Other features include an auditorium, community meeting rooms, a sculpture garden . . . even a downtown high school occupying two floors!

photo of new san diego library and trolley

Now we’re looking toward the northwest. Here comes a red San Diego trolley! Views from the trolley are very cool. You can peer up and into the lower windows of the new library. During the past couple months, riding the trolley, I watched as shelves of books slowly appeared as if by magic throughout the spacious building. Our old downtown library was less than half the size, ugly, and lacked many amenities.

wise words on exterior of san diego library

From the trolley and nearby sidewalk you can also see a handful of wise quotes engraved in the library’s concrete exterior. Here’s a pic of the following inscription: WE WILL BE KNOWN FOREVER BY THE TRACKS WE LEAVE.

UPDATE!

I walked around the now “relatively new” library in early November 2014 and took more pics…

Looking up into the modern library from the southwest corner.
Looking up into the very large library from the southwest corner.
Reflection in west side windows shows colorful building across the street.
Reflection in west side windows shows colorful building across the street.
Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat walks along a north window.
Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat walks along a north window.
Angled glass windows along passage on Park Boulevard side of complex building.
Angled glass windows along passage on Park Boulevard side of complex building.
Closer exterior look at intricate dome around library's huge reading room.
Closer exterior look at intricate dome around library’s huge reading room.
New San Diego Public Library in East Village shines in sunlight.
The distinctive San Diego Public Library in East Village shines in the sunlight.

San Diego’s new library has a grand opening!

people arrive for san diego library celebration

Check out these photos of the new San Diego Central Library’s grand opening! Located in East Village, one block from Petco Park, the new downtown library is a state-of-the-art multi-use facility containing a high school, job training center, auditorium, art gallery, sculpture courtyard, terraces with amazing city and bay views, roof gardens, and half a dozen community meeting rooms. Thirty years in the making, it’s enormous, beautiful and really amazing!

At the “Celebration and Sneak Peek” event, held late this morning, dignitaries, local politicians and benefactors gathered on an outdoor stage to dedicate the new library. A large crowd gathered to watch and applaud, showing great enthusiasm for San Diego’s new urban landmark.

The first photo, above, shows the festive arch through which many attendees arrived. On it are the words: THE STORY BEGINS. DISCOVER YOUR NEXT CHAPTER. The various colorful condos and office buildings you see are located in San Diego’s thriving East Village neighborhood.

navy band arrives for new library dedication

The second photo shows members of the regional Navy Band assembling by some tents not far from the stage. They would perform during the historic ceremony. The yellowish-orange building on the right is a tiny glimpse of Petco Park.

san diego gay men's chorus performs

The next photo shows the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus performing while dignitaries gather on the stage. The diverse crowd has become quite large and enthusiastic.

colorful people in crowd at library opening

A variety of costumed people could be spotted in the audience, and among the large crowds surrounding the library. They looked like roving characters from a Shakespeare Festival!

presentation of colors at library grand opening

Everyone here is watching the presentation of colors, just before the speeches begin. The kids in front of the stage are the San Diego Children’s Choir, who sang their hearts out. At the podium stands interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

big crowd at san diego library grand opening

Here’s a wider photograph of the ceremony, taken while the requisite speeches were underway. The unique open metal dome of the new San Diego Central Library shines brilliantly in the sun!

kids have fun at san diego library celebration

Lastly, here’s a pic taken on 11th Avenue beside our fantastic, functional new downtown library. Numerous booths were attracting a stream of curious people. Information concerning community services, activities, educational opportunities, and all sorts of interesting stuff was made available to the public. This booth encouraged young kids to sing and create their own art.

The new library opens to the public for its first full day this coming Monday!

Cruise ship and harbor tour boats at dock.

cruise ship and harbor tour boats at dock

This photo was taken from Navy Pier just south of the Broadway Pier. It shows a cluster of Hornblower and Flagship harbor excursion boats, plus the big Celebrity Solstice cruise ship at the San Diego cruise ship terminal. If you were to turn to the right, you’d see the historic Santa Fe train depot and shining downtown skyline closeby.

The red, white and blue Patriot speed boat is a new addition to the growing fleet of tour and charter boats seen daily on our beautiful Big Bay!

The following pics were taken on another day:

Harbor cruise ships and a Water Taxi next to Broadway Pier.
Harbor tour ships and a Water Taxi next to Broadway Pier.
Harbor cruise photographer get photographed!
Harbor tour photographer gets photographed!
People linger on dock near water taxis.
People linger on dock near water taxis.
Harbor cruise ships with Navy Broadway Complex in the background.
Harbor cruise ships with Navy Broadway Complex in the background.
A view of downtown and harbor cruise ships from approaching ferry.
A view of downtown and harbor cruise ships from approaching ferry.
The Lord Hornblower approaches as people disembark from Coronado ferry.
The Lord Hornblower approaches as people disembark from Coronado ferry.
Patriot speed boat leaves dock, passing USS Midway.
Patriot speed boat leaves dock, passing USS Midway.