|Author||Jerry Coleman and Richard Goldstein|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
An American Journey: My Life on the Field, In the Air, and On the Air is a 2008 autobiography written by Jerry Coleman and Richard Goldstein. Coleman is a recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and is a member of the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame located at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Quantico, Virginia.
Jerry Coleman was a former professional baseball player, a retired Marine officer, and a long-time baseball announcer for the San Diego Padres. Born in San Jose, California, Coleman played for the New York Yankees during the 1940s and 1950s. During that time, he was also a Marine fighter pilot and saw combat action in both World War II and the Korean War, the only professional baseball player to do so.
After his baseball career ended, Coleman worked at a number of different jobs, but eventually landed in sports broadcasting.
The book focuses on four major parts of Coleman's life.
Coleman had multiple offers over the years to write his autobiography but chose not to do so until he was encouraged by his wife to write his story for his children. He chose Goldstein as his collaborator because of Goldstein's experience writing about both sports and the military.
On January 5, 2014, Coleman died at the age of 89 as a result of complications from head injuries sustained during a fall in December 2013.
"Men of Coleman’s generation don’t like to be called heroes and don’t like to talk about what happened in the war. They know how fortunate they are to have made it home when so many friends didn’t. Goldstein starts out the book with Coleman describing “Jerry Coleman Day” at Yankee Stadium — a day to honor his return from Korea that he reluctantly went along with. In gut-wrenching detail, Coleman recounts waking up the morning of his “Day” to be met at the hotel where he was staying by the widow of Major Max Harper, the friend Coleman saw shot down in front of him. Harper’s widow didn’t want to believe her husband was dead. She wanted to hope he would be one of the prisoners of war who would be returned by the North Koreans. Coleman was the only person she would believe. He had to tell her he saw the plane go down in a crash that he couldn’t have survived. Then he had to take part in “Jerry Coleman Day” ceremonies before the game. Think about that story the next time you hear somebody downplaying Jerry Coleman’s life as a ballplayer, a war hero and as a Padres broadcaster."
"I've just read, "An American Journey," a most fascinating book filled with one surprise after another. It's a story of the eventual triumph of a man who was able to shed an unhappy, traumatic childhood, and with uncommon perseverance, became the man he is today - a successful, caring human being who should be an example for every struggling, young American who may've felt he wasn't dealt the right cards going into the world."
"Political columnist George Will, a baseball fanatic of the first order, pens the foreword to Padres announcer Jerry Coleman's memoir, An American Journey (Triumph Books). Writes Will of Coleman, who played on eight pennant-winning Yankees teams and was a combat hero in WWII and Korea: "No broadcaster has earned a more affectionate following than Jerry. When you read this memoir, you will not only know why, you will join his legion of followers."
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