It’s now been over a week since the passing of Padres legendary broadcaster Jerry Coleman, and while it was amazing to read all the stories paying tribute to him as a broadcaster, war hero, baseball player, celebrity, human being, etc., I feel like it’s now time we can start to think about how the Padres will decide to pay tribute to him going forward. We here at Padres Public dedicated a week to posting stories from our writers as well as outside contributors about Mr. Coleman, but what’s now becoming important to me is how the Padres will decide to honor his legacy.
With the announcement that the Padres will start their season in primetime, with an opening night home game against the Dodgers on Sunday, March 30th, at 5pm pacific on ESPN, the Padres have decided to split their home opener in two, with that game acting as Opening Night, and the game on Tuesday, April 2nd, acting as Opening Day. Whatever that means. It’s all very confusing, and I’m not sure what to make of it, but the Padres are looking at it as an opportunity to expand their opening day festivities over two days rather than one.
To be clear, the move to Sunday night allows us to do more festivities around the opening of the season. Not less. #2GreatDays
— Wayne Partello (@WaynePartello) January 10, 2014
I think it should be safe to assume that one of these two dates will include a pregame tribute to Jerry Coleman. The team is already doing quite a bit to honor Jerry, from keeping his statue open later the night of his passing, to having an unofficial memorial service at the statue the next day, and then of course the free, public memorial service that will be held at Petco Park this upcoming Saturday.
I think everyone agrees that there should be more. But what? One Padres fan has started a campaign on Facebook to name the field at Petco Park after Jerry Coleman. The campaign, named “Make it Jerry Coleman Field At Petco Park,” in just a few days, already has over 1,100 likes. I am among those who has liked this idea on Facebook, but while I certainly would not be opposed to the idea if it were put into place, I think it might be asking for too much.
There definitely should be something dedicated to him in the park though. If not the field, should the team name the press level of the stadium after him, or maybe just the press box or the radio studio in the park? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear, in perpetuity, every radio broadcast from the park start with the introduction “coming to you live from Jerry Coleman studio at Petco Park?” I’m really just spit-balling here, but there are a number of places the team could name in his memory at the park that would leave me fairly satisfied.
What about the city of San Diego? There are two Padres legends with statues in their honor at Petco Park. One of them has a street named after him, and the address of the stadium itself, 19 Tony Gwynn Drive, pays tribute to him. Jerry Coleman has no such honor from the city. Wouldn’t it make sense for the city of San Diego to honor the man in this way?
What do you guys think? What is the proper way for the Padres and the city to honor Jerry Coleman‘s legacy? I’m open to suggestion, and I’d guess the Padres and the city of San Diego are as well.
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