Baseball’s Spring training camps are opening this week in Arizona and Florida which is good news for those of us in the frozen tundra of the Midwest. Always a sign that spring is not that far off as well was the appearance of Baseball Hall of Fame Sports Writer and Quincy native, Rick Hummel who joined the Quincy Exchange Club last Friday for their annual Hot Stove League program at the Elks Lodge.

Rick did the program virtually and provided insight into the upcoming 2021 Major League Baseball season. He is somewhat skeptical of the Cardinals starting pitching and thinks Alex Rios could be a key for the Red Birds. Plus Carlos Martinez will “be pitching for a new contract this is season”. He also feels the Cards bullpen will be fine this year.

Rick is not a fan of the 7 inning double-headers that MLB will be using again this season and would rather place a man on 2nd base to start the 11th inning rather than the 10th. He is also glad pitchers will be hitting in the National League this season.

 

Rick feels the Cards, Dodgers and Braves will win their divisions with the Padres and Nationals taking wild-card spots in the N.L.   He also has chosen the Yankees, White Sox and Astros to win in the A.L. with the Angels and Twins getting wild-card spots.  He has selected the Dodgers to beat the Yankees in the World Series.

Rick also answered questions from the floor ranging from Minor league re-alignment to this year’s no player being selected to the Hall-of-Fame. I had the honor of being the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Rick Hummel is a native of Quincy, a graduate of Quincy Senior High School, an attendee at Quincy University before transferring to the University of Missouri  School of Journalism. Rick expressed an interest in sports journalism and broadcasting at an early age. He worked as a spotter for Elvin Tappe and his twin brother Melvin as they broadcast Quincy High School games on WTAD. It was Mel Tappe who also encouraged Rick to pursue a career as a sports writer.

Following graduation from the University of Missouri, a three year stint in the U.S. Army,  Rick went to work for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he has now been at the Post-Dispatch for over 49 years.

Rick is a past-President of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He has also served on the Baseball Hall of Fame Overview Committee, reviewing the careers of potential inductees by the Veterans Committee.  Rick is a:

  • 2007 – winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
  • 2008 - Inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 3-time "Missouri Sport-writer of the Year"                                                          Member, Quincy High School Blue Devils Hall of Fame                                      And 7 years ago teamed up with Tony LaRussa to write the book “One Last Strike”.

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