Gary Coleman died today at age 42.
Yeah, Gary Coleman's life had become a train wreck over the last few years... but he made all of us laugh in the 1980s, and that should merit a nice salute.
I always remembered him as Jackie Robinson Cooper in the made for TV movie The Kid from Left Field, which to date is the only time the Padres have ever been seen winning the World Series.
In the movie, Coleman manages the Padres with the help of his dad, a former big leaguer played by the always great Robert Guillaume. If I remember correctly, he beat the Cubs in the NLCS (the film came out in 1979, 5 years before the Padres did that for real in 1984!)
And they beat the White Sox in the World Series on a walk off pinch hit homer by Gary Collins.
I also remember Ed McMahon played the owner of the Padres... and had the strange line that he wanted to win the team's first World Series since his father owned them. Well at the time the Padres were only 10 years old... so I guess it was an alternate baseball universe.
Either way, it was a baseball movie I dug as a kid and that's all that matters.
Hats off to you Gary Coleman. You looked good in those Taco Bell Padres unis.