Another remarkable journalist has passed away.
One year and 23 days to the day of Bryan Burwell‘s passing, St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss has died at the age of 54 due to complications of leukemia. His passing leaves an empty void in a world where his work was loved.
Strauss first joined the staff at the Post-Dispatch in 2012, but prior to that, he had already extensively covered baseball for over 30 years. Relentless, independent, yet respectful, Strauss’s audience was nationwide, and millions at some point had read his work.
He was in the middle of the Atlanta Braves’ dynasty that dominated the 1990’s, and was one of the first reporters to chronicle the early career of a soon-to-be-famous Cardinals player named Albert Pujols. In 1997, Strauss, as FOX Sports writer Ken Rosenthal wrote this morning, was just the type of sports writer perfect to cover the Baltimore Orioles.
“The Orioles at that time were a high-profile team with big personalities and an intrusive owner — a team that required particular scrutiny, a beat writer who was tough, unafraid, willing to fight,” Rosenthal said in a tearful tribute letter.
Strauss attended the University of Dayton and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. His writing career kicked off while writing for the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily News, in which he was the newspaper’s beat writer for the Braves, Falcons, and the University of Georgia Bulldogs. In 1983, he also became a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
While in Baltimore from 1997 to 2001, he created a sports column called “Inside the Orioles”, and when he arrived in St. Louis, wrote a variant on the article, called “Cardinals Insider”. In Rosenthal’s tribute article, he mentioned how Strauss would essentially go toe-to-toe with former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, doing so in a manner unlike any other. Both would trade back questions and answers, creating an entertaining atmosphere.
Wherever he reported from, and whatever team he covered, he did so with utmost integrity and respect for the craft of journalism. He did what he loved, and we loved him for doing it in the first place. As far as upcoming journalists and current top journalists alike, everyone became a better person reading his work, not just by enjoying it, but learning from it.
And on a personal note, I truly am thankful to have been familiar with his writing and the impact he had in St. Louis specifically, and Strauss will be heavily missed. I’d like to send out my condolences to his family, friends, and anyone associated with him at this difficult time.
I believe Rosenthal’s final line in his article summed it up best:
“His legacy is there for all of us to carry on.”
(Photo by Chris Lee/Post-Dispatch)