The Padres honored a San Diego treasure Saturday night with the unveiling of a statue of Jerry Coleman at Petco Park, according to a Reuters story.
The only major league player to see combat in two wars, Coleman joins Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn as the second person represented by a statue at the Padres downtown home.
A day after the Hall of Fame announcer's 88th birthday, the Padres celebrated the former Yankee second baseman's 70th year in baseball and his 40th with the Padres. Thirty-nine of those years were spent in the Padres broadcast booth, one (1980) as the Padres manager.
Coleman was a Marine pilot in World War II and Korea -- flying 120 combat missions in Dauntless dive bombers (World War II) and F4U Corsairs (Korea). Coleman, who retired as a Lt. Colonel, was honored with two Distinguished Flying Crosses as an aviator.
He played eight seasons as the second baseman of the New York Yankees at a time when the Yankees dominated baseball. Coleman was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1949 by the Associated Press, was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1950 and later that season was voted the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.