Monday, October 18, 2010
Moment of silence for 'Freddy Sez'
By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- The Yankees honored the passing of longtime fan Freddy "Freddy Sez" Schuman with a moment of silence prior to Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday night.
Schuman, who made a tradition out of bringing signs to Yankee Stadium and encouraging the crowd to cheer by banging together a spoon and frying pan, died Sunday at Lenox Hill Hospital after suffering a heart attack Friday. He was 85.
Schuman was pictured on the giant video screen, and fans could be heard chanting "Freddy!" during the tribute.
"Freddy 'The Fan' Schuman was an iconic Yankees fan who brought life, youthful exuberance and cheer to Yankee Stadium," the Yankees said in a statement Monday night. "The energy and excitement that resonates throughout the Stadium during a Yankees game is made that way by our fans, and Freddy was one of the conductors that could be counted on to bring our orchestra of fans together. Freddy endeared himself to all those he came in contact with, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and his thousands of friends."
Schuman often walked around the stadium during games with an inspirational message for the Yankees written on white posterboard. He also would bang a frying pan and a spoon together to encourage fans to make noise. He attended most Yankee home games.
The Yankees said they would display some of Schuman's memorabilia inside of Gate 4, including clothing, signs, and his frying pan and spoon, which fans will be able to clang together in his memory. The team says the tribute to Schuman would remain on display throughout the postseason and will eventually become part of a display in the New York Yankees Museum in Yankee Stadium.
Schuman's spoon and frying pan were also donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame and to the Yogi Berra Museum.
Junior Pagan, 49, from Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx, brought his own pan and spoon to bang together to the stadium on Monday to honor Schuman.
"He was like our mascot. He was a Yankee tradition," Pagan said outside the stadium Monday.
Pagan said he first met Schuman at Yankee Stadium in the late 1980s. He was moved when he learned of Schuman's passing on Sunday afternoon. So he took the top of a frying pan and affixed it to a wood cutout of an interlocking NY and brought it to the stadium Monday.
Pagan also wrote "Freddy Sez: Get loud!" on a piece of posterboard and attached it to the frying pan top. He could be heard clanging the spoon and frying pan outside the stadium before Game 3 of the ALCS. He also asked fans to "bang the pot for Freddy."
"I wanted to continue his tradition," Pagan said. "As long as I'm around Freddy will live because of this. They say legends never die, and he was a legend."
Schuman had been coming to games for the past 22 years. His last Yankees game was Game 3 of the ALDS against Minnesota.
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.