Have you ever met a man who was truly unforgettable? I don’t mean someone who was famous for being a celebrity but rather someone who to his core was as principled as a person can get. I’m honored to say that I was fortunate to meet just such a person. For me that person is Tom Souter.
Sadly, Tom passed away on Tuesday. With his passing his family and friends have suffered a very deep loss. To his core Tom really stood for something. His high standards and integrity defined Tom as a person. When he spoke you inherently knew that he was being honest and straightforward with you. His sense of humor was quick and understated. He left you feeling impressed with what a wonderful kind of person he was.
My first contact with Tom was in 1982. At the time he had just become the commissioner of the Lefty Grove Baseball League. The league was embroiled in controversy over the issue of whether girls should be permitted to play in the league. It was receiving negative press and community comments. Through very skillful diplomacy Tom was able to overcome a small, determined opposition and successfully resolve the issue. As a direct result of Tom’s effort the league admitted girls for the first time in its history for the 1983 season.
I’ll remember Tom for the legacy he left our city and the true decency of the man. For me each time that a young girl plays summer baseball in the Lefty Grove League Tom will be there.
I feel truly blessed to have called him my friend. My sincerest sympathy goes out to his wife Jan and his three fine children.