Tom Singer's sons pay loving tribute to dad

Tom Singer's sons pay loving tribute to dad

Malvina Singer is amazingly stoic, grieving the sudden loss of her husband of nearly 43 years, Tom, our 15-year colleague at MLB.com, at 67. It has been a whirlwind of shock for the family, fortunately a far-reaching, faithful, highly supportive and positive group. Mal's mom, a concentration camp survivor, was there, and stood as much as anybody for the poignant, impactful presence of Tom's spirit and the unconditional love surrounding his life.

The graveside service was moving in ways that are impossible to describe. Tom Singer, a great writer, would have framed it best. The Singers' sons did not fall far from that treasured tree. See for yourselves.

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Jason Singer, Tom and Malvina's older son, is in his early 40s. He spoke these beautiful words about his dad:

"How do you succinctly express your thoughts and feelings about someone that had an immeasurable impact on your life? You can't and you don't.

"I could stand up here and tell you how my dad gave me my passion for baseball, that fire that started burning in me when my dad took me to an Angels game and I saw a Reggie Jackson home run soar across my field of vision in 1982, Reggie's first year as an Angel and our first year in Orange County.

"I could mention how my dad helped form my culinary tastes when he first brought home Chinese food from a local place in Placentia, a place that I still consider the best Chinese I've ever had, be that nostalgia or fact.

"I could tell you about all the times we went to Tri-City Park, our local park in Placentia, after school or on the weekends to hit fly balls to each other and play a game of 'grounders' during those years when I still dreamed the dream of making a living playing baseball.

"I could try to relay to you the tenacity and determination that my dad instilled in me to never give up and to trust in yourself and your abilities.

"I could speak to you all about the way I learned to look at the bright side of almost any situation and to be thankful for what you have.

"There is quite a lot I could do, say or show to you all. But I won't.

"All I will say is that there is a bright side to this day -- we get to be together to celebrate a husband, father, grandfather and friend.

"All I will say is that I am ever so thankful that my dad gave me literally everything that makes me who I am today.

"The last thing that I will say is that my dad was made of the right stuff, and he made sure my brother and I were as well."

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Sean, Tom and Mal's younger son, is in his mid-30s. He followed with this inspired tribute:

"Thank you all for coming today. It means so much to us that so many of you came from near and far to pay your respects to dad. And most importantly, we know it would have meant the world to him as well.

"Dad lived a good life -- too soon though he leaves us. Born in post-war Budapest, he and his parents fled communism and, via an extended stay in Italy, began a new life as Americans in Pittsburgh, Pa.

"He was a bright young man, initially studying engineering before following his passions of baseball and journalism at UCLA. He loved his wife, children, grandson, and took joy in the simple pleasures of his day-to-day life.

"He wasn't a perfect man, as none of us are, but he was a man of principle and heart. He was a creative person who loved the arts, and influenced many of my tastes and sensibilities. Thanks to dad, I grew up listening to Beatles music, and as far as I'm concerned, that's Good Parenting 101.

"I will always remember our shared love of Pink Floyd, and James Bond films, among many others. One of the painful reminders of the suddenness of his passing was his recent purchase of a digital piano, as he was excitedly looking forward to learning to play in his looming retirement. He was also an avid basketball player, and I am grateful that we were able to recently get a session in on my last visit to the house in Arizona.

"He was among the most fortunate of us in that he had the talent and drive to successfully spend his life doing what he loved -- immersing himself in the world of baseball. As many of the baseball community expressed upon learning of his passing, he was well-liked and respected in that world, and I took particular comfort in knowing that those kind words would have meant so very much to him. Having spent a lifetime writing words about others, it was very meaningful to see the words turn to him in the end.

"Alas, words, with all their power, have limited reach. An abundance of them could not convey our grief at your undue departure; an ocean of them could not do justice to the long road that lies before us, without you by our side; a parade of them could not lessen the blow.

"Though these mere words pale in scope to the woe in our hearts, I leave you with a few of my favorites: I love you, dad."

Thank you all for reading, for the irreplaceable wishes and heartfelt fondness for Tom.

This is the immediate family, including Tom (right), Mal, their boys and grandson.Singer Family
And this was Tom, our-down-to-earth, delightful companion during his remarkable ride.Singer Family

Tom had bought that piano, as Sean revealed, and rest assured he was going to play it sensationally. Always reinventing himself, we just know he's out there, in the music.

Dinn Mann is Executive Vice President, Content for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.