Jerry Coleman & Billy Martin, Yankees Spring Training, St. Petersburg 1954
Two Men Holding The Bag
St. Petersburg, FL – March 2 – Jerry Coleman, left, and Billy Martin, hero of the New York Yankees’ 1953 World Series victory, indulge in some training camp antics as both squat on second base at today’s workout. Billy playfully plunks ball in Jerry’s mitt. Should Martin go into service Coleman is expected to take over Billy’s second base spot. (AP Wirephoto) 1954
Sure enough Billy Martin did indeed miss the entire 1954 season to serve in the military. Coleman had missed most of the previous two seasons serving in the military, flying combat missions in Korea. In 1954 Coleman played in 107 games, 79 of them at second base, but the versatile Gil McDougald was the Yankees primary second baseman for the season. The Yankees unprecedented run of five consecutive world championships came to an end even though they won 103 games. The Cleveland Indians won the 1954 American League championship with a record 111 victories.
Can you imagine today’s ballplayer’s having to interrupt their careers by having to perform military service?
Ballplayer, Broadcaster, World War II and Korean War Combat Hero, Jerry Coleman Passes Away
New York: Jerry Coleman, second baseman for the Yanks does a nip-up like a vaudevillian to get the ball down to first after putting out Bobby Dillinger of the Browns in the first inning of the game at Yankee Stadium on August 6. The throw was not fast enough to get to first before George Elder who had grounded out to Bobby Brown at third. Yankees won, 9-8. That’s Phil Rizzuto, Yankees shortstop lurking in the background. Credit: (ACME) 8-6-49
Jerry Coleman died at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, CA January 5, 2014 of complications from head injuries he suffered in a fall last month.
In his major league baseball career he hit only 16 home runs and batted just .263, but the slick fielding Jerry Coleman was a beloved baseball legend by fans on both coasts.
Coleman played his entire career for the New York Yankees from 1949 -1957. He appeared in six World Series, was the MVP of the 1950 World Series and appeared in one All Star game.
After his playing career ended Coleman worked in the Yankees front office. In 1960 he became an announcer, first with CBS television on the Game of the Week, then in 1963 he rejoined the Yankees and stayed with their broadcast team for the next seven years. Continue reading →
Don’t let anyone tell you that the players of yesteryear weren’t as good as today’s players.
And they played as hard then as they do now. Considering an average player’s salary was around $15,000, the World Series provided extra lucrative income for ballplayers, many of whom worked at regular jobs in the off season. The winning player’s share of the 1957 World Series was $8,924, the losing player’s share was $5,606.
This news photograph captures the Milwaukee Braves Wes Covington sliding hard into second base to break-up a double play. The news photo is captioned as follows:
Got One, Trying For Two
NEW YORK: New York Yankees second baseman Jerry Coleman leaps to get off the ball (lower center) to first after putting out sliding Milwaukee Braves’ Wes Covington on a force play at second in the fifth inning of the first World Series game of 1957 here at Yankee Stadium October 2nd. Bill McKinley umpires. McDougald took Crandall’s bouncer and threw to Coleman. The Yanks missed a double play when Elston Howard dropped Coleman’s throw for an error. The Yanks took this opener, 3-1.
United Press Photo 10/2/57
The Braves would end up coming back to win the Series in seven games. Braves right-handed ace Lew Burdette won three games.