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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!