Jerry Coleman died Sunday, at the age of 89. Besides being a four-time World Series champion and an All-Star second baseman with the New York Yankees, Coleman was a decorated war hero and is in the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.
Commissioner Bud Selig paid tribute to Coleman's life and career:
"Jerry Coleman was a hero and a role model to myself and countless others in the game of baseball," Selig said in a statement. "He had a memorable, multifaceted career in the national pastime -- as an All-Star during the great Yankees' dynasty from 1949-1953, a manager and, for more than a half-century, a beloved broadcaster, including as an exemplary ambassador for the San Diego Padres. But above all, Jerry's decorated service to our country in both World War II and Korea made him an integral part of the Greatest Generation. He was a true friend whose counsel I valued greatly.
"Major League Baseball began its support of Welcome Back Veterans to honor the vibrant legacy of heroes like Jerry Coleman. Our entire sport mourns the loss of this fine gentleman, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, fans of the Padres and the Yankees, and his many admirers in baseball and beyond."
The Yankees also released a statement regarding Coleman's death:
"My family was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jerry Coleman," said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. "First and foremost, he was an American hero whose service to this country is his lasting legacy. He was also a great Yankee, a true ambassador for baseball, and someone whose imprint on our game will be felt for generations. On behalf of the entire New York Yankees organization, we send our deepest condolences to the Coleman family."