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WaltSinger 

Walt Singer

Sport: Football

Born: December 6, 1911

Died: February 5, 1992

Town: Jersey City

Walter Wallace Singer was born December 6, 1911 in Jersey City. Walt and his identical twin, Milton, were rock-hard six-footers who starred for the Dickinson High Rams sports teams. Walt was the catcher on the baseball team, while his brother played first base. In 1930, Milton earned All-State honorable mention as a tailback, while Walt was a first-team All-State end. The Rams were unbeaten that year, winning the Hudson County championship. The Singer Twins were Jersey City’s most famous Jewish athletes—still revered by old-timers more than a half-century later.

The twins earned scholarships to Syracuse University and were varsity lettermen for the legendary Vic Hanson each year from 1932 to 1934. Walt was an end and Milton was the center for the Orangemen. They also played baseball for Syracuse. As a junior in 1933, Walt won the intercollegiate heavyweight boxing championship. He quit boxing at Hanson’s insistence. That fall, Walt earned All-East recognition. The Orangemen won their first two games by a score of 92–0, but then lost 4 of their next 6 to finish 4–4. Syracuse improved to 6–2 in his senior year, including upsets of Penn State and Michigan State.

Walt signed a contract with the New York Giants after his senior season and played for the club in 1935 and 1936. He was actually a member of the team when the Giants played their famous Sneaker Game against the Bears in the winter of 1934, but did not play. Walt performed primarily as a blocker on offense and a run-stopping end on defense. The Giants won the East title but lost to the Detroit Lions in the NFL Championship 26–7. Walt caught a 20-yard pass in that game. The following season, he returned a fumble for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Giants were a sub-.500 team.

The 1936 season found Walt back home in Jersey City, as a player-coach for the Giants’ farm team. He served in this capacity until 1941, when he enlisted in the Army. Walt rose to the rank of major and served with distinction in North Africa. He coached a service team called the Casablanca Yankees that won the “North Africa World Series” in 1943.

Walt settled in New York after the war. His son, Jonathan, became a doctor and in 1991 had a 1934 Sneaker Game championship ring made for his father. Walt passed away shortly afterwards, on February 5, 1992.

 

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