Opener begins season of honoring late Coleman

Opener begins season of honoring late Coleman

SAN DIEGO -- There's not a day that goes by during which Padres broadcaster Ted Leitner doesn't miss his old partner, Jerry Coleman, who passed away in January at the age of 89.

The home opener on Sunday against the Dodgers was one of those days for Leitner, who worked with Coleman on the radio for 33 years.

"He would have said to me today, no matter when I got to the ballpark, 'About time you got here.' He wasn't teasing. He would have already been here forever," Leitner said.

"Today, there's a just a hole in my heart. I miss him desperately."

The Padres plan to honor Coleman in a number of ways during the season. The team will wear a memorial patch with the letters "JC" on it that will be fixed to the left sleeve of both the home and road jerseys.

Fans who attended Sunday's game received a Jerry Coleman Tribute camouflage T-shirt presented by Sycuan.

Coleman's daughter, Chelsea, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday. She was escorted by her mother, Coleman's wife, Maggie. The team also unveiled the Jerry Coleman Broadcast Center, with big lettering affixed to the area above the broadcast booth on the press level.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.