A big change for the Padres happened in the offseason when longtime announcer, former manager, war hero and great American Jerry Coleman passed away on January 5. Fans turned out to visit his statue to honor him the night after his passing was announced. Gaslamp Ball writers and readers penned their tributes and memories of their beloved voice of the franchise. The Padres held a beautiful memorial service for The Colonel on January 18.
On June 16, franchise icon Tony Gwynn passed away. The Padres were out of town, but the opposing Mariners helped honor him with a video tribute and the number 19 displayed in the infield dirt. When the club returned home they honored their fallen legend with the number 19 displayed in CF, behind home plate and on patches on the Padres' uniforms, a tribute by the players in RF during a moment of silence for the entire crowd, the Aztecs baseball team accompanying Aztecs Executive Head Coach Mark Martinez as he threw out the first pitch and with their own video tributes. The tributes to the fallen Hall of Famer were widespread and tremendously heartfelt. Fans came to Petco Park the day of his death despite there being no game there just to be with his statue (which included some Chargers coaches and players). His friends reacted publicly to his passing. Writers penned their praise and sadness. That includes some at Gaslamp Ball. Many of the other Major League teams held tributes to the admired man. The City, County, SDSU and others honored him on June 19th. As soon as the Padres had an off day that could accommodate it, they held a memorial at Petco Park to the man they had honored many times there. Padres fans, baseball fans and San Diegans did all they could in vain to try to fill the void that came when a great one left.