Freddy holding one of his signs near the Bleachers entrance before a game.
|Born||May 23, 1925|
|Died||October 17, 2010
Manhattan, New York
|Other names||Freddy Sez|
|Known for||Unofficial Promotor of the Yankees (c.1988-2010)|
Freddy Schuman (May 23, 1925 – October 17, 2010), better known as Freddy Sez or Freddy "Sez", was a New Yorker and supporter of the New York Yankees, known for his activities in promoting the team and encouraging fan participation.
Freddy was born on May 23, 1925, and was a resident of The Bronx for most of his life. When he was 9 years old, he suffered an accident during a stickball game, in which he lost the use of his right eye. From about 1988, until his death, he was an unofficial promoter for the Yankees.
Schuman carried a frying pan with a shamrock painted on it, which he said "Brings 'em luck." Fans were encouraged to bang on the pot with a spoon to make noise. The pot made a distinctive sound that echoed throughout the stadium and could be heard in the background during TV broadcasts. One of his pans is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with another at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in New Jersey.
Schuman also carried a number of colorful hand-painted signs adorned with messages to encourage the team and the fans. The signs usually began with "Freddy 'sez'". Some Freddy messages included "Again & Again Yankees Prove They Are Great", and "Fans, We Got To Help Yankees Out Of Slumps". Sometimes, Schuman would give the sign to a lucky fan at the end of a game.
Schuman also took his signs and frying pan to other events, as shown below.
Before the games, Schuman could be found outside Yankee Stadium. During the games, he moved throughout the stadium, making his way from the Grandstand down to the Main Section, and finally to the Field Level.
Schuman can be briefly seen in a baseball themed MasterCard commercial that aired during the 2007 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. He can also be seen for a few seconds near the end of House of Pain's 1992 music video for their hit single "Jump Around". Schuman himself has claimed his tickets circa 2003 were sponsored by Modell's Sporting Goods. After his death in 2010, Schuman can be seen briefly in a Nike Boom commercial, featuring Craig Robinson and Robinson Canó.
College basketball and football teams whose games Schuman had been known to attend and promote include the Manhattan College Jaspers, the Fordham University Rams and Lady Rams, the Columbia University Lions, the Princeton University Tigers, and the Cornell University Big Red. In 2008, Freddy was spotted at the New York Giants parade in New York, commemorating their Super Bowl XLII victory.
Schuman died at the age of 85 at Lenox Hill Hospital on Sunday, October 17, 2010 after suffering a heart attack the previous Friday night. In a tribute, the Yankees displayed some of his memorabilia and held a moment of silence prior to Game 3 of the 2010 American League Championship Series.
- Botte, Peter; Bill Hutchinson (2010-10-17). "Freddy 'Sez' Schuman, a Yankee Stadium staple for last 20 years, dead at age 85". New York: NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- Klopman, Michael (2010-10-18). "Beloved Yankees Fan Dies At 85". Huffington Post.
- "Manhattan Mourns Passing of Freddy "Sez"". GoJaspers.com (Manhattan College). 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "Fordham Athletics Mourns the Death of Freddy `Sez' Schuman". FordhamSports.com (Fordham University). 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- Begley, Ian (2010-10-18). "Freddy 'Freddy Sez' Schuman dies at 85". ESPN New York. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- Freddy "Sez" Home Page
- Stirring Enthusiasm, With Élan and a Pan. The New York Times, (May 15, 2006).
- Photos tagged "Freddy Sez" on Flickr