Memory Lane remembers Thomas Newman:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” This legendary quote by the iconic American writer Mark Twain arguably sums up any individual’s sheer existence, and we at Memory Lane find it immensely fitting as it relates to the recent passing of our dear friend and one of the immortal sports memorabilia collectors, Thomas M. Newman, MD.
“Tommy,” as he was most commonly referred to by his family members and closest friends, succumbed to the COVID-19 virus in late January 2021 at the age of 73 in Tampa, Fla., losing his battle to this tragic disease that has sadly stricken so many across the globe.
Ironically, a major portion of Tom’s life was spent saving lives, with this renowned neurologist still actively practicing medicine as a managing partner of Tampa’s Neurological Specialties at the time of his passing.
With regard to Twain’s eloquent quote, while Tom certainly discovered his major purpose in life would be to utilize his compassionate persona and remarkable medical skill sets to prolong the lives for so many of his deeply grateful patients, his legacy extends far beyond the medical profession; starting with his No. 1 priority...the loving family he leaves behind.
These wonderful individuals include his wife Nancy, daughter Liz, son Stewart, two grandchildren (Parker and Iris), two siblings (Bill and Ginny) and his cherished dog Haley; all of whom were fortunate enough to experience the unparalleled kindness, affection, integrity and love Tom bestowed upon them.
Simply stated, there seemingly wasn’t anything this “giant of a man” couldn’t do, and his incredible skill sets included being a well-gifted musician (he could play the trombone and piano) and proficient golfer, and being someone who effectively selected some of the finest vintage sports cards on the planet.
Indeed, regarding the latter, Tom was highly recognized as one of the most esteemed enthusiasts extant, and it is with great pride and honor that Memory Lane presents this memorial as a bona-fide testament for his momentous standing.
None of the hobby’s foremost collectors could possibly compile their exalted gatherings without an unbridled passion, and it is this concept that placed Tom’s collection virtually “head and heels” above the rest.
Following in his father’s “collecting” footsteps (his dad was one of the globe’s biggest pre-World War I Rolls-Royce motor cars enthusiasts), for some four decades Tom relentlessly pursued major cardboard artifacts of America’s greatest sports heroes who helped shape this great nation.
Through the years, we have had the distinct pleasure of conversing with Tom at so many hobby-related and private events such as the annual “National,” and can truly state no collector could have possibly boasted a more unquenchable thirst for the cardboard treasures he so aggressively sought.
Along with his wonderful family and other aforementioned hobbies, his collection meant the world to him, with Tom highly coveting each and every keepsake.
Most significantly, Memory Lane would ask all of Tom’s collecting brethren to offer a solemn prayer for his closest family members and friends in the hope that their bereavement could be somewhat eased via the extraordinary memories that will forever live in their hearts.
Throughout his illustrious life, Tom’s myriad of sincere qualities rubbed off on everyone around him, including an abundance of warmth, generosity, humbleness and uncanny “sense of humor” that all combined to serve as a beacon of light to those fortunate enough to know him.
In closing and as a further reference to the opening quote, even Mark Twain would be somewhat jealous and “tip his hat” to the amazing Thomas M. Newman, who unquestionably lived his life to the fullest, leaving an indelible mark on the memorabilia circuit that will surely “echo for eternity!”