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A shared love for the game: DL player's grandfather in MN Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame

Kyle Singer makes contact during a Laker baseball game last week. Singer, who graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in May, played his final game as a Laker on Thursday. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)1 / 3
Kyle Singer plans to play on the Legion team this summer, and with the M State team in Fergus Falls after he starts college there next fall. (Vicki Gerdes/DL Newspapers)2 / 3
Jerome Wegscheid, Kyle Singer's grandfather, was a 1986 inductee into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.3 / 3

Though he never actually had the chance to see his grandfather play baseball, Kyle Singer does remember playing catch with him in the yard of his family's Detroit Lakes home.

"I shared a love of the game with him," says Singer, who played his last game as a Laker last Thursday.

Singer's grandfather, Jerome "Jerry" Wegscheid, was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. He passed away on April 19, 2008 -- but not without making an impact on the community of Wadena, which he called home for more than 50 years.

"He was involved in a lot of things," said Jerry's daughter, Vicki Singer, who is also Kyle's mother. "But he was never a bragger about it. He was a pretty humble guy -- always positive, always saw the good in life and had a smile on his face."

And while he received many accolades throughout his life for his involvement in the Wadena Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and the Wadena Fire Department, it was baseball that was his true passion, according to his daughter.

"We spent a lot of time watching games while I was growing up," said Vicki Singer. "Every Sunday and Wednesday night. We traveled all over for games and tournaments."

And while Vicki tried her hand at softball when she was a kid, her secret wish was "to be the bat girl," she added with a laugh.

"He (Jerry) coached, he played, he managed, was the official scorekeeper, sold tickets, everything," Vicki Singer said. "He also served for 18 years on the board of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association.

"He just loved the game," she added -- and he passed that love onto his grandson Kyle.

"I've played baseball from the third grade on," Kyle said. "I was pretty good at it, and it was fun."

Though he shared a love of baseball with his grandfather, it was his father, Chris Singer, who really taught Kyle how to play.

"My dad played baseball in Perham during high school, and then with the Vergas Loons and the (Detroit Lakes) Angels," Kyle Singer said.

"I played catch with my dad all the time -- we even painted a diamond on the street (in front of the house) and he'd give me pointers on pitching, stuff like that," he added. "I also played with my (four) brothers."

Singer has pitched and played centerfield on the Laker varsity baseball team for the past two years, and played on the JV and 9th grade teams before that.

"I'm going to be playing with the Legion team this summer, and at the community college (M State) in Fergus Falls next year," he added. "I'd like to see how far I can go in college ball, and maybe one day play amateur baseball too.

"I'd just like to keep playing for as long as I can."

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454