Hall of Fame Cardinals writer Rick Hummel dies at 77

‘The Commish’ retired from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year after 50 years covering baseball—but he kept on writing about the game he loved, anyway.
Hall of Famer baseball writer Rick 'The Commish' Hummel.
Hall of Famer baseball writer Rick 'The Commish' Hummel.(KMOV-TV)
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 1:12 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Longtime baseball writer Rick ‘The Commish’ Hummel died Saturday morning after a brief battle with illness, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported. He was 77.

Hummel was a titan of the sportswriting industry who had seen and done it all⁠—and then some⁠—in his remarkable career spanning five-plus decades. A Hall of Famer in every sense of the phrase, Hummel was enshrined into Cooperstown in 2006, earning the BBWAA Career Excellence Award for his work covering baseball at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

His nickname ‘The Commish’ was originally derived from the meticulous manner in which he orchestrated the football-simulation board game league he played with friends and colleagues years ago, but the moniker became known to all who crossed his path in the baseball industry as Hummel commanded respect through his humble greatness.

If you’re a fan of the Cardinals, you’ve read Rick Hummel. Covering three World Championships, seven National League pennants, and 11 different St. Louis managers during his tenure, Hummel chronicled local baseball history for generations of Cardinals fans. Given the magnitude and longevity of his sportswriting career in St. Louis, it would be virtually impossible not to have come across the wit and wry woven into his prose over the last half-century.

As the 2022 season unfolded, Hummel never sought to make a fuss about his impending retirement from the Post-Dispatch. But while Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols enjoyed their farewell tours during the summer, Hummel was celebrated, too, in various press boxes across baseball.

Even following his well-earned retirement from the Post-Dispatch at the end of his 51st season covering Cardinals baseball for the newspaper, Hummel was still writing about baseball. He covered spring training this year in Jupiter, Florida, freelancing for various outlets.

The man who made a life covering the game he loved simply couldn’t stay away from the ballpark. On several occasions early in the 2023 season, Commish ambled into the Bob Broeg-Rick Hummel Press Box at Busch Stadium III to write about baseball.

When you’re showing up to work⁠—after your retirement⁠—in a section of the ballpark that is quite literally named after you, there’s no doubting your sincerity and love for the game.

That was Rick Hummel. And above only his work ethic was the kindness of his spirit. His 50+ years in baseball didn’t embolden him to dismiss a newcomer into the industry. He was always approachable and willing to share his thoughts on the game with anyone who had the sense to take the time to engage him on the topic.

His career was legendary. His humility made him a treasure in the baseball community.

A Hall of Fame writer who was an even better human, Rick Hummel will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him.