That familiar clanging sound, generated by a metal spoon upon pot lid, will ring no longer at Yankee Stadium. Freddy Schuman, better known as “Freddy Sez,” creator of the special Bronx cheer gear, passed away Sunday at the age of 85.
Freddy would bring his signs to all sorts of New York sporting events, including Columbia football games, but he made his mark supporting the Bronx Bombers. It didn’t take long to hear the CLANG CLANG CLANG as fans of all ages passed around the spoon and hit the pot lid adorned with a shamrock to show their endorsement of Freddy’s messages mounted on the stick above. He made a new sign every game, in bright colors and his unmistakable printing. He always stopped for photos and autographs and was just there to be a fan, for the fans.
It didn’t matter how far from the Bronx I was, I always felt like I was there in spirit when I was watching a broadcast and heard a CLANG. Freddy was there and all was well.
On my first visit to the new Yankee Stadium, I was on edge. I was still mourning the loss of the ballpark across the street, which sat in shambles, and the new place was feeling very foreign. All that changed when I heard the familiar sound. FREDDY! My mom and I raced down the concourse to see him. Thankfully, he made it to the new place!
Freddy was not on the Yankees payroll. On the contrary, he was an organic phenomenon. Eventually, Modell’s, “sponsored” him by making sure he had the necessary tickets to get into each game – not that he sat in his seat. He had too much work to do.
On his Web site, he laid out his route: The first three innings I start in the Upper Deck because the fans are so enthusiastic up there. The middle three innings I make my way through the Loge Section. The last three innings I finish in the Main Section. Funny thing is by the time the 7th and 8th innings roll around, the fans all know me and chant my name. I say to them, “Don’t cheer me, wake up the Yanks! They’re the ones we came to see!”
Well, Freddy, I for one came to see you and was so glad when I did. Thank you for the memories. I hope the Yankees organization will remember one of their most devoted fans, because the pinstripe faithful definitely will!
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Written by Stephanie Geosits