Longtime St. Louis baseball writer Rick Hummel has died at the age of 77. Hummel covered the Cardinals for five decades and is enshrined in the writer’s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The Post-Dispatch reported that Hummel died Saturday after a short illness. Hummel was born in 1946 in Quincy, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1968. He was hired at the Post-Dispatch in 1971, joining the baseball beat two years later. Hummel earned a reputation for his knowledge of the game. He chronicled three Cardinals’ World Series championships, seven National League pennants and six MVP seasons.