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Farewell, Freddy “Sez” Schuman

October 18, 2010

 

Freddy "Sez" Schuman

Freddy "Sez" Schuman at the Old Yankee Stadium

 

In a few short hours, the New York Yankees will have their first game since Freddy Sez‘s death Sunday in Manhattan. At eighty-five years of age, Freddy Schuman attended his final Yankee game for game three of the American League Division Series against the Minnesota Twins. Sweeping the Twins that night, the players had no idea they would never again see Freddy’s signs or hear the distant sound of his pot banging or the fans he rallied to cheer for over two decades. Within the last ten minutes before tonight’s 8PM New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers game, Yankee Stadium will observe a moment of silence for the man who devoted much of his life to making noise.
When I saw Freddy at my first Yankee game in New York, I found him charmingly childlike and impressive in his unswerving dedication to walking the many stadium steps, holding two new motivational signs for each game and encouraging the fans to help cheer for his favorite team. Having never met him myself, I didn’t know about Freddy’s uncompromisingly generous spirit or his goodness that seems to shine from every pore as he passes a spoon through the crowd to bang on his shamrock-decorated pan, on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and the Yogi Berra Museum at Montclair State University in NJ.

Freddy’s Fans

  • House of Pain included Freddy in their Jump Around video, banging his pan and holding a sign that reads, “Freddy Sez Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” Watch for him from about 2:55 to 2:58.
  • According to his Wikipedia page, Mastercard featured Freddy in a commercial aired during the 2007 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. I’d love to see this if anyone has it.
  • Freddy shared with the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club his joy in having attended game seven of the 2000 World Series as a guest of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and game five of the 2003 World Series in Florida thanks to Modell’s. When hospitalized several years ago, Freddy received another visit from Rudy Giuliani, who brought along Joe Torre, Derek Jeter, and the World Series trophy to encourage his speedy recovery.

An Inspiration for All

Often hailed as an unofficial mascot for the Bronx Bombers, Freddy “Sez” Schuman followed his passion for the Yankees and their fans as far as it could lead. Climbing countless stadium steps, remaining steadfast during a frustrating change of stadiums and policies, embracing whatever the weather and unruly fans might throw at him to attend almost every home game every year, he showed us all what love and true determination look like. If you’re one of the lucky few to attend tonight’s post-season game in the Bronx, look inside Gate Four to see some of his memorabilia on display. For the rest of us, I can find no better tribute than this spotlight story entitled Bangin’ Pots, posted in 2008 by No Mas.
Farewell Freddy, and GO YANKEES!
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