Beloved Cardinals writer Rick Hummel dies at 77

May 22nd, 2023

In St. Louis, a city that reveres chroniclers of baseball almost as much as the people who play it, Rick Hummel was both a humble local boy and an icon. Hummel, the beloved and legendary baseball writer who spent more than 50 years with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died Saturday at the age of 77.

Hailing from Quincy, Ill., just up the river from the city he called home for virtually all of his adult life, Hummel covered greats from Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith to Albert Pujols and Adam Wainwright. And he always did so with a keen eye for fine detail as well as a deep love for the sport that never seemed to wane even slightly.

"Rick Hummel was one of the best and most respected baseball writers of his or any era," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "It was always a pleasure to see Rick in St. Louis, where the loyal baseball fans enjoyed his work for more than half a century, and at our Jewel Events. In an amazing demonstration of professionalism and longevity, Rick covered 42 consecutive All-Star Games. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of ‘The Commish,’ his readers, Cardinals fans, and his many friends across our game."

Hummel, known for decades to friends and readers as “The Commish,” worked for the Post-Dispatch from 1971, when he was just a few years out of college, until his retirement in 2022. In that time, he saw his name placed on the Busch Stadium press box, alongside his mentor Bob Broeg, and honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Baseball Writers Association of America Career Excellence Award.

Beyond those tentpole honors were many more, of course. Hummel was enshrined in both the Missouri and St. Louis Sports Halls of Fame. The St. Louis BBWAA established the Rick Hummel Internship in 2006, and his name is also on the chapter’s Hummel-Hyland Award for “Meritorious Service to Sports.”

From his seat in the press box at two Busch Stadiums, Hummel saw and documented seven World Series, including three Cardinals titles, and six MVP seasons. He covered three managers who were later enshrined in Cooperstown, earning the trust and respect of all of them. He was even well known as a friend of umpires.

Hummel was born and grew up in Quincy, a city on the Mississippi River a couple of hours up the road from St. Louis. He attended Quincy University (then known as Quincy College) before transferring to the University of Missouri. After a stint in the military, he joined the Post-Dispatch in 1971 and never knew another full-time employer.

He first covered the Cardinals in 1973, according to the Post-Dispatch, and moved onto the beat in 1978. Hummel held that position until 2002, when he moved into a role as a national baseball writer and columnist. But regardless of his title, he was always around the ballpark, always warm and welcoming to fellow writers, and always regarded with the highest respect by the people he covered.

Hummel retired from the Post-Dispatch after the 2022 season, but even after that, he could be seen in the press box. Few baseball writers – few people in any line of work – maintained their zest for the job as strongly, for as long as “The Commish.”