A life you could hang a star on: Jerry Coleman 1924-2014 - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

A life you could hang a star on: Jerry Coleman 1924-2014

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Many San Diegans knew him simply by his catch phrase "You can hand a star on that one, baby!" But those who knew him best are remembering Jerry Coleman for much more than that.

The longtime San Diego Padres broadcaster died Sunday at the age of 89.

Few San Diegans knew Jerry Coleman better than Tim Flannery. Not only was he a player that one year Coleman managed the Padres, but he also shared time with him in the broadcast booth.

"He taught me about being a ball player. He taught me how to do radio. He taught me how to keep coaching because he had managed when I played for him, but he taught me more about how to be a man, how to treat people," Flannery said.

Flannery says he still can't believe Coleman passed away Sunday, but says it won't really hit him until the season starts and that familiar voice is gone.

"It's stunning. How can Jerry Coleman not be here?" he said.

Ted Leitner called Jerry Coleman his best friend. They shared a broadcast booth together for more than 30 years.

"To me he was the best man that I've ever known. I mean in terms of character, integrity, honesty. His ego was removed at birth, he had none," Leitner said.

Coleman earned rookie of the year honors as a Yankee in 1949. He went on to be an all-star and won 4 World Series. Twice he put his baseball career on hold to fight with fellow Marines in World War II and Korea. He was a true American hero who remained humble to the end.

"He'd always say 'I'm not a hero. The heroes never came back. I just did my duty,'" Leitner said.

Coleman's death is tied to a serious head injury he suffered in a fall last month. He had surgery last week to deal with complications, but he never recovered.

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