03 November 2014

padre memorial patches for jerry coleman and tony gwynn

with the release of 2014 topps update, i've found some cards that feature memorial patches from the 2014 season.  one team to wear a patch the entire year was the padres.  they honored their former manager and longtime broadcaster jerry coleman with a patch on their right (and left) sleeves.  the patch, a star with jerry's initials inside, is visible on seth smith's card from update.
the patch moved to the left sleeves when the club wore their camouflage jerseys, as see on tommy medica's 2015 topps card.
coleman was 89 when he died in early january.  he had been an all-star infielder with the yankees in the 1950's, and was a decorated pilot, having served in the marine corps in both world war ii and the korean conflict.  he is a member of the padres hall of fame and a recipient of the ford c. frick award.

the padres lost another hall of famer in 2014 with the passing of tony gwynn.  gwynn died on june 16, 2014 after battling cancer of the salivary gland for several years.  on june 17 in seattle, the padres added a black armband to their right sleeves in gwynn's honor.  here's a photo from getty images showing the armband on rene rivera that night.
i didn't see any cards in update that showed the armband, which makes some sense since the padres only wore it that one night.  the next night, they were back in san diego, and they had added a patch in the shape of home plate with gwynn's retired number 19 inside to their left chest.  you can see the patch on yangervis solarte's card from update.
but with the 2015 topps set release, i found this team card that frames the gwynn patch nicely, so it goes into the binder instead of the solarte.
gwynn, of course, was one of the greatest hitters of all time.  he was an 8-time batting champion and spent his entire career in san diego.  his 3,141 hits rank 19th all-time, and his .338 career average is the 20th highest mark among those with at least 3000 plate appearances - easily the highest of the modern era.

at the all-star game, the jerry coleman patch was moved to the left chest, and the tony gwynn patch switched to the right chest to make room for the all-star game patch on the right sleeve.  this tyson ross relic card from update shows the two memorials nicely from the midsummer classic.
i can say that i listened to jerry coleman a few times when i was visiting san diego, and i also saw tony gwynn play a few times on those trips.  i didn't mind enjoying his hitting prowess one bit, even though he was wearing a padre uniform.

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