Longtime Yankees Superfan Freddy "Sez" Dead at 85

By Jonathan Eiseman
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 3:58 PM EDT
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Longtime Yankees Superfan Freddy "Sez" Dead at 85

Along with the deaths of announcer Bob Sheppard and owner George Steinbrenner, the Yankees have lost another team fixture this season -- this time in the form of a beloved superfan.

Freddy Schuman—better known as Freddy ‘Sez’—a Yankee Stadium staple for over 20 years who rallied fans by carrying homemade signs and banging a frying pan, died Sunday morning after suffering a heart attack on Friday.

"Freddy was a true Yankee legend and a No. 1 fan [who] will be missed," said longtime friend and president of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club to the Daily News.

The ping of Schuman’s pan could be heard in the stadium since 1988, when he started greeting fans at the turnstiles by banging on a shamrock covered frying pan with a wooden spoon and carrying a colorful sign that began with “Freddy Sez”. Over time, Schuman became an unofficial mascot for the Yankees, appearing in a Nike commercial, as well as the video for House of Pain’s "Jump Around”. The Yankees also flew him out to a World Series game in 2001.

The self-described queen of the “bleacher creatures” at Yankee Stadium, Tina Lewis told the News, “"It's going to be very strange without him, without hearing Freddy and his pans," she said. "He wasn't a Creature, but we respected him out in the bleachers. I wish he'd lived to see what I hope is one more great postseason."

Even Yankees players took note of Freddy’s pans and his ability to rile up the crowd. “I've seen him out there all the time. I know he's been here forever,” Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher told the News. “I definitely send my best wishes to his family.”

The Yankees plan to honor Schuman tonight with a pre-game ceremony and also by allowing fans to bang on his frying pan at Gate 4.
 

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