Jerry Coleman, the Accidental Quotesmith

The great Jerry Coleman is many things: decorated fighter pilot, accomplished major leaguer and member of the Radio Hall of Fame. It’s as a broadcaster that he’s given us moments of accidental genius not equaled since Dostoyevsky, absorbed in the probing thoughts of the memoirist, stumbled upon the first customized van.

Fortunately for us and the shadowy, sky-scraping figure known only as “Mr. History,” the Baseball Almanac has assembled a pirate’s booty of Coleman’s finest moments on the mic. And there’s more to be found here. What follows is a representative sampling …

  • “And Kansas is at Chicago tonight or is it Chicago at Kansas City? Well, no matter as Kansas leads in the eighth four-to-four.”
  • “George Hendrick simply lost that sun-blown popup.”
  • “If (Pete) Rose’s streak was still intact, with that single to left, the fans would be throwing babies out of the upper deck.”
  • “Larry Lintz steals second standing up — he slid, but he didn’t have to.”
  • “There’s someone warming up in the bullpen, but he’s obscured by his number.”
  • “There’s a hard shot to (Johnnie) LeMaster and he throws (Bill) Madlock into the dugout.”
  • “(Dave) Winfield goes back to the wall, he hits his head on the wall and it rolls off! It’s rolling all the way back to second base. This is a terrible thing for the Padres.”
  • “Thomas is racing for it, but McCovey is there and can’t get his glove to it. That play shows the inexperience, not on Thomas’ part, but on the part of Willie McC … well, not on McCovey’s part either.”
  • “Hats off to drug abusers everywhere.”
  • “The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It’s ball one. Low and outside.”
  • Respect!

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    10 Responses to “Jerry Coleman, the Accidental Quotesmith”

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    1. Resolution says:

      “Hats off to drug abusers everywhere.”

      Announcers nowadays suck.

      Norm MacDonald should just announce every game.

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    2. bgrosnick says:

      “The new Haitian baseball can’t weigh more than four ounces or less than five.”

      I really, truly, deeply want to know the context behind this one. Beyond the obvious mistake, I mean.

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    3. olaf says:

      I grew up listening to Jerry Coleman make the calls for my Padres. I couldn’t imagine listening to any other broadcaster. It’s unfortunate he’s getting as old as he is, he’s been phased out of the broadcast team the past few years. Doesn’t make road trips and maybe calls only half a home game these days. Still, a great broadcaster for a not-so-great team.

      By the way, he also managed the Padres in 1980. War hero, player, manager, broadcaster. What a life.

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    4. Yirmiyahu says:

      “The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It’s ball one. Low and outside.”

      How does that mistake even happen???

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      • williams .482 says:

        Maybe the catcher threw it back to the pitcher really quickly and missed? thats the best I can come up with.

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    5. williams .482 says:

      “The Phillies beat the Cubs today in a doubleheader. That puts another keg in the Cubs’ coffin.”

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