Sunday, October 17, 2010
Sully Baseball Honors Freddy Sez
This has been a rough year for Yankee mainstays.
Bob Sheppard passed away.
The Boss, George Steinbrenner is gone.
And now the Freddie Sez guy is no longer with us.
For those of you who don't know who he was, Freddy Schuman was a die hard Yankee fan who was at just about every Yankee game there was.
(He was at all of them that I went to, and I went to a lot.)
And for those of you too young to remember, he was there for the lousy years as well. Yes the Yankees had crap seasons, and he was there.
He always was dressed in his Yankee gear... always cheerful despite advanced age and having use of only one eye (evidently he lost an eye playing stickball as a kid. I am not sure if that was true or legend... but I like to believe it.)
And of course he had his pan that he would bang with a spoon... and had a new sign written for every damn game.
He encouraged people to bang the pan and I did as well, even though I am a Red Sox fan.
He was legendary... appearing in the World Series parades, a Master Card commercial and even the video for "Jump Around" by House of Pain.
But I remember him personally because he was always in my neighborhood.
He would stop by that bagel place on Broadway and 71st street that I don't think exists anymore and pick up a newspaper on the way to the subway.
I'd see him a few times a week and we'd talk baseball. He knew I was a Red Sox fan but he also knew I was a good baseball fan. We'd chat about the game the night before and he'd be very specific.
"I thought Torre let Mendoza in too long. Take him out. That's why we have Nelson!" Or "I love that Brosius. Hit behind the runner let him go 1st to 3rd. Great hit."
It was always a treat to talk baseball with Freddy.
I'd ask him his memories of World Series past and some of his favorite players.
And he'd light up wanting to talk about Mantle and Berra and Elston Howard and other great Yankees... and I loved hearing him get excited about it.
He was a great baseball fanatic.
And a hell of a nice guy.
I hope the Yankees pay tribute to him tomorrow.
I'm sure he had a great sign made for Game 3 of the ALCS.
"The Yankees can Certain-Lee beat Texas."
Rest in Peace, Freddy.
If there is a Heaven, bang the pan there as well.