Family and friends say goodbye to Gus Zernial

CLOVIS, Calif.

Zernial died last week from heart failure. The former Channel 30 sportscaster was 87.

Gus Zernial was a man who put his signature on the game of baseball and this community. Friends and family paid their respects to Zernial at Clovis Hills Community Church.

Tom Sommers recalled, "He said to me, do you think they'll remember me Tom? I said oh Gus, they're gonna remember you partner because we won't let them forget you."

Baseball fans won't forget his 237 home runs or his role in bringing triple-a baseball to Fresno. His friends won't forget his warmth.

Zernial's daughters Lisa Pearlstein and Susan Zernial recalled childhood memories at the ballpark. Zernial said, "I'd see all these people yelling dad's name with a great big smiles on their faces, they liked dad. He was a hero."

Pastor G.L. Johnson was Zernial's high school classmate in Beaumont, Texas. He said, "Though he reached the heights are far as athletics is concerned he never forgot his friends."

Gus Zernial's friends said they were blessed to know him.

Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jim Maloney said, "I was just starting in the big leagues and Gus was just finishing so we sat down and he told me a lot of stories about the big leagues and how the life is."

Jack Hannah added, "Of course being a great athlete like he was he could have been arrogant and cocky but he was not. He was a very humble man."

The service ended with one of Gus Zernial's favorite songs "Take me out to the ballgame."

Gus Zernial was buried at Clovis cemetery.

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