ST. LOUIS - Rick Hummel, the beloved St. Louis sports writer who stood the test of time in the news business, died at the age of 77 in his sleep early Saturday morning after what was described as a brief illness.

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Hummel was a Post-Dispatch sports writer for five decades. He was known as “The Commish” by friends, players, managers, and even baseball commissioners

These were some words Hummel penned with a headline titled: “Can’t Beat That Job," which showed how much it meant to him his time as a St. Louis sports writer.

“It was a kinder, gentler time when I began writing baseball in St. Louis in the 1970s.

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“There was no internet. There was no ESPN. There was no sports talk radio. There were just newspapers – only two of them publications that traveled with the team – the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“But the Globe died, was revived and then died again, and suddenly in the mid-1980s, there was just one newspaper. ESPN had just started, sports talk radio hadn't made any real in-roads and there was still no internet. Blogging was a term that hadn't even made it to Webster's yet.

“And not only was there just one major paper in the area, this baseball writer covered a manager who loved newspapers at the expense of radio or television. Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog, who managed the Cardinals from 1980-90 and into three World Series, was a baseball writer's dream.”

Hummel was one who helped the “Best Fans In Baseball” - the St. Louis Cardinals, because he always kept them informed with his vivid, descriptive words, and he was always on top of everything in regards to Cardinals baseball. The managers and players trusted him and opened up constantly to his personable ways.

Hummel covered 42 consecutive All-Star Games, as the Post-Dispatch’s lead baseball writer or national baseball columnist. He also covered the Cardinals’ three most recent World Series championships, six MVP seasons, 11 managers, and seven National League pennants.

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