2006 J.G. Taylor Spink Award Winner Rick Hummel

Part of the J.G. TAYLOR SPINK AWARD series

Known as “The Commissioner” throughout baseball, which he covered in St. Louis for more than 40 years, Rick Hummel worked his first major-league game in 1973 and served as the Cardinals’ beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 24 years, from 1978 through 2001.

He then became the Post- Dispatch’s national baseball columnist.

Hummel was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 and was named Missouri Sportswriter of the Year multiple times.

Hummel covered more than 40 All-Star Games and 35 World Series.

“The Commish” earned his nickname early in his career for organizing the Post-Dispatch newsroom’s softball and bowling leagues. But that honorary title has come to reflect his encyclopedic knowledge of baseball, its rules, players and history.

“I have learned a lot from Whitey Herzog, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa about how to watch the game and maybe how to write about it a little,” Hummel said. “You couldn’t pick three better [teachers] than that.”

Hummel was national president of the BBWAA in 1994 and served on the Spink Award Committee for 10 years.

Part of the J.G. TAYLOR SPINK AWARD series