St. Louis lost a legend this week in former St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Rick Hummel. We here at Redbird Rants extend our sympathies to the Hummel family during this time.
For 51 years, “The Commish” Rick Hummel was a fixture at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hired by famed sportswriter Bob Broeg in 1971 after serving with the U.S. Army, Hummel stayed with the Post-Dispatch until his retirement in 2022. In 2007, he was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
On Saturday, Hummel passed away at age 77 after a brief illness. Many around the game of baseball expressed their sympathies on the loss of a legend.
A native of Quincy, Illinois, Rick Hummel was born in 1946 and became interested in journalism at a young age listening to the radio station, WGEM. After high school graduation, Hummel attended then-Quincy College before transferring to the University of Missouri where he graduated with a degree in journalism in 1968.
During his time with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hummel covered many famous moments with the Cardinals. These moments ranged from Garry Templeton’s run-in with the fans, to the 1982 World Series clincher, to Whitey Herzog’s resignation in 1990, later the hiring of Tony La Russa after the 1995 season, the 105-win 2004 team, and David Freese’s heroics in 2011.
There were many positive traits that made Rick Hummel so special to so many in the sports media industry. One was his commitment to detail and truth. Hummel wanted to make sure that the St. Louis Cardinals fans were the most informed fans in all of baseball. Hummel succeeded in doing that for so many years, as news formats continued to change each decade, by retaining two of the most important qualities of journalists: accuracy and trust.
With a commitment to accuracy and providing facts, Hummel held another positive trait: professionalism. Hummel not only combined his love for the game with his duty to provide trustworthy information, but he served as a gracious role model to up-and-coming journalists.