Edward Fritsch, 90, of Sheboygan, was named the 15th member of the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame on Tuesday at Lambeau Field.
A season ticket holder since the 1950s, Fritsch was selected by fans from 10 finalists during a voting period that ran from Jan. 28 through Feb. 22. More than 30,000 votes were cast from throughout the United States and countries around the world.
Fritsch was nominated by his friend Randall Pfister, who said that Fritsch has been a regular at home games for more than 25 years. While the cold weather usually prevents him from attending the later season games, he attended the New Year’s Eve game in 2011 and met Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy who told him he was “one of the oldest Packers fans still sitting outside in the bowl area at Lambeau Field.”
Fritsch is a veteran of World War II, having served in battles in Italy during 1944-1945, and was awarded a purple heart for combat injuries. For his service, Fritsch was chosen to go on a WWII Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2010 to view the WWII Memorial and other sites.
Fritsch has lived in Sheboygan his entire life, retiring as a US Post Office mail carrier more than 25 years ago.
An excerpt of Pfister’s nomination letter for Fritsch reads:
“On Packers home game days, Ed routinely goes to the Tundra Tent before the game and gets the autograph of the Packer Alumni player on his cap. He has filled up many caps over the years, and was surprised this year when Aaron Taylor asked him for his autograph first to thank him for his years of support. For more than 25 years, Ed has been a very regular attendee at the home games, including still going to about five of the seven “green ticket” games each year. A great sports fan, Ed can be seen wearing either Packers or St. Louis Cardinals clothing nearly every day of the year.”
This year’s other finalists included: Barbara Lee Mollberg, Greenfield, Wis.; Kevin Taylor, Decatur, Ala.; J. Christopher Windisch, Williston Park, N.Y.; Eric Breuer, Yorktown, Va.; Melissa Jacobs, Wauwatosa, Wis.; Ronald Mihm, Lisbon, Wis.; George Oudhuis, Carlisle, Ind.; Stephen Gay, Luxemburg, Wis. and Dave Rickert, Freedom, Wis.
Fritsch will receive four club seats to a 2013 Packers home game; a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate; a road trip for two to a 2013 Packers away game, including game tickets, air fare and hotel accommodations; and a one-year subscription to Packers Plus.
The honoree also will have his name permanently displayed in a place of honor in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
The Green Bay Packers established the Packers FAN Hall of Fame in 1998 for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime Packers fan.
The 14 prior honorees include Mel Knoke, Appleton, Wis.; Louis Gardipee, Black River Falls, Wis.; Ed Jablonski, Wausau, Wis.; Paul Mazzoleni, Green Bay; Wanda Boggs, Brookfield, Wis.; Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, Milwaukee; Dorothy Hanke, Milwaukee; Kathy Lazzaro, Milwaukee; Rich Barbera, River Vale, N.J.; Richard ‘Ike’ Eisenhauer, Wauwatosa, Wis.; Allan Hale, Green Bay; Jim Becker, Racine, Wis.; Tom Little, Mount Sterling, Ill; and Rick Steele, Greensburg, Pa.
Photos by Green Bay Packers Matt Becker