Choo Choo Coleman, member of original Mets, dies at 80

NEW YORK (AP) Clarence ''Choo-Choo'' Coleman, a catcher on the expansion 1962 Mets who spent four seasons in the major leagues with New York and the Philadelphia Phillies, has died at age 80.

Niece Linda Hibbler says Coleman, who had been suffering from cancer, died Monday at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Coleman had lived for more than two decades in nearby Bamberg.

Hibbler says he was born on Aug. 18, 1935. Baseballreference.com listed his date of birth as Aug. 25, 1937.

Coleman played with the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League and signed with the original Washington Senators. He was released and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was selected by Philadelphia at the 1960 winter meetings draft and hit .128 in 47 at-bats over 34 games with the Phillies. The Mets took him in that expansion draft.

He finished with a .197 career average, nine homers and 30 RBIs in 462 at-bats over 201 games.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.