As anyone who’s tried to sit in the bleachers for batting practice at the new Yankee Stadium could tell you, the Yankees are serious about making sure you have the proper ticket for the proper area of their new digs. (On YES, Paul O’Neill had even commented that he was turned away from the Yankees clubhouse because he didn’t have his credentials on him.) But this is going too far: Over the weekend, unofficial fan mascot Freddy Schuman (better known as Freddy “Sez,” of colorful sign-and-frying-pan fame) was denied entry to Yankee Stadium.
In the past, Schuman, 83, had either received tickets from a sponsor (like Modell’s) or was simply allowed to enter through the press gate. Which makes sense: He’s a stadium mainstay, and doesn’t occupy a seat anyway. (When we were at Fordham, where he occasionally would bring his pan to basketball games, he’d get the red-carpet treatment: press pass, lunch in the press room, the works.) He was even allowed entrance on Opening Day, through the press gate as usual. But all this weekend, he was turned away by stadium security.
So Freddy was forced to beg for a ticket, holding a sign that read “I can’t go in. Must buy ticket!” which is the saddest Yankee Stadium image we can possibly imagine. Luckily, fans came through by giving him tickets — costing upwards of $100. The Yankees chalked it up to “miscommunication,” which it better be. Because otherwise, we’re ready to trademark “The Curse of Freddy ‘Sez,’ ” which would clearly bring the Yankees decades, if not centuries, of bad karma in their new stadium.