Last week, SacBuntChris of Padres Public brought to everyone's attention that there was some work being done around Jerry Coleman's statue at Petco Park. We learned from Wayne Partello through Twitter that the Padres had planned some updates to the area to coincide with The Colonel's 90th birthday, which is today.
Many were nervous to see what kind of changes would be made, and with good reason. The Padres haven't given us much to be confident about lately when it comes to changes at the ballpark, so seeing that there were "updates" being made to Coleman's statue was cause for concern.
But two nights ago, CT2SD eased our worries some on Twitter.
Walking the dog around Petco Park. Guys were working on the Jerry Coleman statue area & saw a mock up of what's to come. WELL DONE @Padres!— GAVIN (@CT2SD) September 12, 2014
@RallyPlantain They said it was a surprise and I want to respect that. It's not going to be drastically different, just a lot better.— GAVIN (@CT2SD) September 12, 2014
Today, on Jerry's 90th birthday, those updates were revealed. And luckily for us, jbox was there to snap some pictures.
The @Padres updated the area around Jerry Coleman's statue. First they literally put him on a pedestal. pic.twitter.com/h0tfRi3mvO— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
Jerry Coleman "The Marine" pic.twitter.com/rRHpIn6BdI— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
Jerry Coleman the "Major Leaguer" pic.twitter.com/Pe9QYVjzzP— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
Jerry Coleman the "Padre" pic.twitter.com/s8jnV8wT8V— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
Jerry Coleman the "Hall of Famer". pic.twitter.com/8ZUOF4SyEr— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
Jerry Coleman 1924-2014 pic.twitter.com/bTUHpiTCno— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
In case you don't recall, this is what the statue and surrounding area looked like before:
And here's the entire setup now:
Jerry Coleman was born 90 years ago today. pic.twitter.com/BFYS5TMww4— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) September 14, 2014
The different aspects of Coleman's life are now split up between "Marine," "Major Leaguer," "Padre," and "Hall of Famer." I kind of prefer how they had it before with "The Marine," "The Teammate," and "The Voice," but I understand why they made it the way they did. Now the panels on the wall are evenly spaced out behind the statue without being covered. They also now look like a more of a permanent fixture in the ballpark, with the words added above each of the four frames and Coleman's name and the years of his life added on the wall as well.
The pedestal on which the statue was placed also adds to the area and helps it be more noticeable. One thing I've noticed since the statue was unveiled at the ballpark was that its location and placement didn't stand out much, and it seemed like something that was relatively easy to miss when you're walking into the ballpark. Now, it more accurately captures the grandeur of its subject.
With Tony Gwynn finally free from the shadow of the Fox Sports SD stage, Trevor Hoffman soon to be enshrined near the upcoming Padres Hall of Fame, and The Colonel's home now updated and improved, the Padres have proven they're more than capable of honoring past greats in an appropriate manner. Now they just need to work on keeping those less-than-worthy out of our ballpark, but that's a story for a day other than Jerry's birthday.
Happy Birthday, Colonel! Hope you love your present as much as we do.