A story of Dave Campbell standing up for his friend Jerry Coleman

Ezra Shaw

I watched this Jerry Coleman appearance on MLB's Hot Stove on Veterans Day and got a kick out of the story that Matt Vasgersian tells at the 7:20 mark. I meant to blog about it at the time, but must have forgotten.

In recent years you may have heard stories of Jerry's broadcast partners protecting him in the booth and on road trips. As his age advanced, they'd cover for and correct him if he miscalled a play, while being careful not to embarrass him in front of his audience.  They'd also accompany him to airports, acting as his travel companion, making sure he reached his destination safely.

Well Dave "Soup" Campbell took that protectiveness to another level.  Former Padres broadcaster Matt Vasgersian tells the story which takes place in 1980, the year Jerry left the broadcast booth to manage the Padres.

It goes like this:

The Padres  were playing in Montreal and the Padres broadcast team and the French speaking home crew had to share the broadcast booth. Inside the booth the Expo's traveling secretary was ragging Coleman, shouting towards the field in a thick accent "Monsieur Coleman you steeeenk!  You are a terr-eee-ble man-eee-ger!"  Dave Campbell being present, obviously took offense to the traveling secretary insulting his broadcast partner and friend.  As the ragging continued Campbell's anger elevated to the point he couldn't take it anymore.

"So at one point Dave Campbell takes his headset off, during an inning, walks over to the guy, they exchange words, Soup pops him, lays out the traveling secretary, goes back over here puts his headset on and says 'yeah that 2-1 pitch was a little low' and finished the inning. Flattened the guy!"

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