The scribe of St. Louis

Remembering famed baseball reporter Rick Hummel.

Rick Hummel outside training building
Rick "The Commish" Hummel at the St. Louis Cardinals spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida. Photo by David Carson.

Published on Show Me Mizzou Sept. 4, 2023
Story by Joe Walljasper, BJ ’92

Just as Jack Buck and Mike Shannon provided the soundtrack of hot summer nights in St. Louis, Rick Hummel, BJ ’68, wrote the scripts the city read over morning coffee. Hummel (above), who covered the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for five decades, died May 20 at 77.

As a reporter, the congenial Hummel played the long game, earning the trust of the people he covered with his fairness and genuine curiosity about the nuances of the sport. Hummel was so universally respected in baseball circles that he was referred to by his nickname, “The Commish,” by actual MLB commissioners.  

“Because he was such a good conversationalist and cared so much about the game, that informed his knowledge, and his knowledge of the game made those conversations with managers, players and umpires that much richer,” says Derrick Goold, BA, BJ ’97, a longtime Post-Dispatch colleague. 

In 2006, Hummel was inducted into the writer’s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York — the highest honor for a baseball writer — but he was hardly ready to coast into retirement. Hummel continued to treat each game with reverence, as evidenced by his personal dress code: He always wore a tie if he was writing the game story and the temperature was 80 degrees or less. 

“Above all, he loved the game,” Goold says. “That’s what people are paying to see. That’s not the entirety of our job — we write about things other than the game — but he had such a fascination for the game itself and what was going to happen and the chance he might see something he never had before in the tens of thousands of baseball games he went to. I loved that about him.”

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