|Fred Schneider Memorial Scholarship
Below is an excerpt from the Fred Schneider Memorial Classic program of July, 1991.
The man was leaning on the fence at Button Field in Fairview Park on the East Side of Binghamton one night in 1968 watching boys play Little League Baseball.
The man asked the league supervisor what was being done on this field of dreams for the little girls? Maybe he was thinking about his daughter Brenda and the other East Side girls without teams or games.
The man was Fred Schneider and soon Fred was the leader in the East Side Youth Association Girls Softball program, which was the forerunner of the Binghamton Recreation girls set, ball programs all over the city.
Once Fred got involved in softball, he never let up. He was first of all a teacher/coach, then a manager, a volunteer umpire, a groundskeeper, a concessionaire, a commissioner, and the first youth softball commissioner for the ASA in the state of New York.
As the State Youth Commissioner it was not uncommon for Fred to pack up wife Emma and the family in the car and off they would go to give a clinic for coaches at some place like Utica—all the time selling ASA Softball, and teaching hot to play the game.
In 1972 Fred was a director of the first Broome County Girls Softball Tournament at Button Field. Many more were to follow as the Southern Tier moved far ahead of other counties in the state with the youth programs.
Fred became a nationally known figure in the ASA as his attendance at the National conventions brought him into top-level developments in the youth programs across the states.
At the same time, Fred was selling Binghamton as a National Tournament City and his bid presentations brought the best softball players in the world to play on Binghamton area diamonds. Fred not only obtained the tournament bid; he was the co-director of all the Nationals with his East Side partner/Commissioner Carl Gaffney.
We remember Fred in the concession stand frying hamburgers and the stove exploding. An ambulance whisked Fred to General Hospital only to see Fred return in 45 minutes because he didn’t have time to wait for treatment.
In 1975, a heart ailment forced him to retire. Did he slow down? Never. Now, there was just more time to work on softball as he continued to coach three teams along with his wife, plus umpiring at Button Field, where another ambulance one hot day carted away the umpire behind the plate. He avoided the limelight. Never would get in a team picture. Never wanted any attention. Regardless, the New York State ASA made him one of the first selections to the Hall of Honor in 1987. The same year, the New York State ASA Scholarship Award was renamed the Fred Schneider Memorial Scholarship Award.
His heart finally gave out late at night on April 22, 1987, while Fred was driving to the Binghamton post office with a load of softball mail. He was 53.
Thank you Fred Schneider. Rest in Peace.
Fred Schneider Memorial Scholarship Award Application