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Posts Tagged ‘1996 World Series’

A fan captures some terrific Super 8 footage of the scene in New York City following the 1996 World Series ticker-tape parade:

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“I want to get the fans into the action. I don’t look for the glory for myself.” -Freddy ‘Sez’ Schuman

As most of you have heard by now, Freddy ‘Sez’ Schuman passed away at Lenox Hill Hospital yesterday after suffering from a heart attack on Friday night. He was 85.

In the same year, the Yankee family also lost George M. Steinbrenner III, Bob Sheppard and Ralph Houk. He was a “Super Fan”, a Yankee Stadium fixture and was said to be one of the most genial people you could ever meet. With frying pan and spoon in hand, he would walk up and down the stairs of the great cathedral, stirring up the crowd. He would interact with the fans, pose for pictures, and sign autographs. He couldn’t believe that others wanted his autograph, considering he was only a fan of the team. Just last week, people were banging on his shamrock frying pan and shaking his hand, so this caught people by surprise. He was even in a recent Nike commercial (at the 52 second mark). It seemed like he would always be there. I think I can speak for all Yankees fans, in saying that he will be deeply missed. He was as passionate as they get.

Will the Yankees organization have a moment of silence tonight to honor one of their most dedicated fans? According to a bleacher creature, they did it for original Cowbell King Ali Ramirez back in 1996.

Update: 5:00PM ET: According to Kim Jones, the Yankees will honor Freddy “Sez” Schuman with a moment of silence before tonight’s game.

An old friend of Freddy Schuman, Howard Goldstein, recently contacted me after he heard the news of his passing. This man used to take Freddy out for lunch in Manhattan (and then over to the stadium for the game). Howard wanted to share some memories of his friend, and I thought it would be a great idea. I would like to thank him for sharing these stories.

Fond recollections of my friend, the one and only Freddy Schuman  By: Howard Goldstein    

 

I met Freddy “Sez” in the early 1990s, around the time that my son David was born.  This was about the same time that I began to resume being a serious baseball fan, after having been only a casual one for the prior decade.  When I first saw Freddy do his frying pan thing at the old Yankee Stadium (the only real Yankee Stadium in my opinion), I immediately was reminded of the stories that my Dad (a lifelong Brooklynite) had told me about the uber-fan Hilda Chester of his beloved Dodgers.  Freddy appealed to my sense of baseball as a game which, above all else, was supposed to be about having fun. Freddy also appealed to my sense of passion since, when it came to the New York Yankees, I knew of nobody who had greater passion.
 
 Although I did not have much of a rooting interest in those days for either the Yankees (who were my childhood team), or the Phillies (for whom I rooted since moving there in 1978), I nonetheless for a number of years had been a collector/budding historian of all things related to Jews and baseball.  It was Freddy’s Jewish roots which made him of particular fascination to me. I remember approaching Freddy outside the Stadium one day and telling him about my interest in that subject.  As someone proud of his Jewish heritage, Freddy liked hearing me tell him oddball stories about the Jewish ballplayers and others whom I followed.
 
 Over the years my interest in baseball itself, both in the Yankees and the Phillies, grew exponentially to the point that I now have season tickets in both cities.  As a result, I probably came to the Bronx (on average) at least a dozen times per season.  During this period I had begun to email with Freddy and then went to his apartment where I marveled at the incredible number of signs that he had stored from prior years.  I remember buying a few of those from the 1996 World Series and thinking what wonderful works of folk art they were.
 
 It was at this visit that Freddy and I had our first lunch.  I greatly enjoyed talking to him because his passion for the Yankees poured out of every pore.  Freddy regaled me with wonderful stories that day and I hoped it would be only the beginning of many such get-togethers.  From then on, I continued to email with Freddy and also would try to meet him at least once a season for lunch and then drive him to the Stadium for the ballgame that day.  At one of these get-togethers, Freddy graciously agreed to give me one of his precious frying pans so that I could use it when I eventually mount a museum exhibit on Jews and Baseball.  Such an exhibit probably will occur within the next several years, and at that time I will joyfully display the pan (and one of his unique signs) in honor of my warmly remembered friend Freddy.
 
 There will be nobody to replace Freddy “Sez”, and for that the new Yankee Stadium will be the poorer.  The type of daily dedication and passion which Freddy exhibited towards his beloved Yankees is basically a relic of the past (though the real Bleacher Creatures are similar in certain respects.)  What a year this has been for the Yankees. what with the passing of Steinbrenner, Bob Sheppard, Ralph Houk and now Freddy “Sez”.  I just know that Freddy is in heaven arguing with George about the over-the-top size of his Monument Park statue.  If it were up to me, I would put one there of Freddy because the joy that he brought to innumerable Yankees fans over the years was priceless.

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