May 23, 2023
This podcast with Rick Hummel was recorded during Spring Training 2019. I'm reposting at the news of his passing because of how elequontly he reflects on his life. You'll hear Rick share about his love for baseball and how he became a sportswriter. You'll hear about his receiving the phone call informing him that he had been elected the the writer's wing at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the year that Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. were inducted. He shares stories from his (then) 42 years of Cardinals' Spring Trainings, first in St. Peterburg, then when they moved to Jupiter in 1998. His nickname was “The Commish”, partly for his organizing the NCAA basketball lottery each year but also from the respect he had from his colleagues in the baseball world. I hear that two former baseball commissioners even referred to him as “The Commish”. Rick was a very kind man with an encyclopedic knowledge of Cardinals baseball. I sat within 20 feet of Rick for 23 spring trainings and he always made a point to visit our portion of the press box to say goodbye when spring training wrapped up and he was on his way back to St. Louis. The 4 “Life at the Ballpark” podcasts we recorded together are some of my favorites, and this is the first. When I visited Busch Stadium in St. Louis for my birthday a couple of years ago Rick, who the press box is named for, insisted that I have the microphone to announce the game time temperature. That’s the kind of guy he was. Honored to know you, sir.