Freddy 'Sez' Schuman dies at 85

Updated: October 18, 2010, 7:26 PM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

Freddy SezChris McGrath/Getty ImagesFreddy "Sez" Schuman's inspirational posters were a mainstay at Yankee Stadium.

Freddy "Sez" Schuman, the longtime New York Yankees fan who made a tradition out of bringing signs to Yankee Stadium and encouraging the crowd to cheer by banging together a spoon and frying pan, has died at age 85.

Schuman died at Lenox Hill Hospital on Sunday afternoon after suffering a heart attack on Friday night, according to longtime friend Chuck Frantz. A hospital official confirmed Schuman's death.

"It's a sad day for Yankee fans and for anyone who knew Freddy," Frantz said.

Schuman, who was known around the ballpark as "Freddy Sez," often walked around the stadium during games with an inspirational message for the Yankees written on white posterboard. He also would bang a frying pan and a spoon together to encourage fans to make noise. He attended most Yankees home games.

Examples of Schuman's signs included: "Freddy sez: Again & Again, Yankees prove they are great." Another read: "Freddy sez: Yankee Stadium gave birth to champions!"

His spoon and frying pan were donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame and to the Yogi Berra Museum, according to Frantz, who is the president of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club.

Frantz said Schuman has been showing up to Yankees games for the past 22 seasons. He was last at the Stadium for Game 3 of the American League Division Series when the Yankees took on the Minnesota Twins.

"It's just a shock to everybody that he's gone because now you won't hear that frying pan and that spoon banging," Frantz said. "He's really, really going to be missed."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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