There was some sad news that came out this afternoon, as we found out that Tom Singer, former Pirates MLB.com beat writer, passed away on Monday at the age of 67. Most of you probably only knew Tom from his writing or his Twitter account. I was fortunate enough to get to know him in the press box over the last few years, and wanted to share some thoughts.
Tom was the nicest guy, and always a person I looked forward to seeing when I covered the big league team. We spent a lot of time talking during Spring Training, especially the past year when I would always return to McKechnie Field from Pirate City and wait with him in the clubhouse media room until the locker room opened. The talks weren’t deep, but he always had some sort of baseball story to tell, or a joke to tell, and if it was the latter, he made sure everyone heard it. He also had game trivia that would make Elias jealous, and usually busted out these facts during the media sessions with Clint Hurdle. The facts about recent events were never in the form of a question, but just informing the manager and everyone else of an interesting trend or event that took place. They usually ended with Clint Hurdle confirming that the fact was interesting, and maybe even sharing a story of his own in response.
During the fall, I traveled out to Arizona to cover the Arizona Fall League for a week. One of the things I was looking forward to was catching up with Tom. It wasn’t even a question that he would be there. If there was baseball to be covered in the area, you could guarantee that Tom would be there. He absolutely loved this game. Sure enough, I walked in to the Future’s Game, and before I could even unpack my laptop, Tom came up and said hello, and we got a chance to catch up.
There was another good memory I had from this season when I traveled out to St. Louis. My flight had just arrived at the airport, and I was on my way to grab the train to downtown. All of a sudden, as I was walking through the airport, I heard someone shout out my name. I looked to my right, and there was Tom, sitting on a bench, waiting for a shuttle of his own. We were going to see each other in about half an hour at the stadium, but that didn’t stop us from talking for a few minutes about our trips in and how things were going for each other. He would always ask me how the site was going, and always seemed genuinely interested.
I didn’t know Tom that well from a personal standpoint, although in our talks he usually mentioned that his wife, Malvina, was with him, even on some road trips or stretches during Spring Training. There was clearly a strong, loving relationship there, and my thoughts go out to his wife during this difficult time.
I wish that I had gotten more chances to know Tom better, although I’m grateful I was able to get to know him the last few years. He always made you feel like a friend, and was one of the nicest people I’ve encountered in the press box. I’ll miss running into him on the job, and the baseball world will be a bit sadder without him in a press box somewhere. Rest in Peace, Tom. You will be missed.