Tom Ackerman, KMOX Sports Director (@Ackerman1120)By Tom Ackerman

It’s just been very sad in the last 24 hours, thinking about the passing of Joe Strauss. My mind has been filled with memories of Joe, from our talks in the press box or on the field, trading stories and sharing laughs…to the beautiful tributes written by his colleagues.

As a journalist, Joe was a great influence in the way he worked sources, gathered information and shared it with his readers. As a friend, he was someone I could lean on in this business.

When he arrived in St. Louis, I was a 26-year-old still finding my way. Joe was a veteran baseball beat writer with a reputation as a curmudgeon. But the two of us connected immediately. In covering countless events together, we found that we had many shared interests. Whether it was college football, college hoops, horse racing, music…it was guaranteed Joe and I would either text about it or share a story the next time we saw each other. We also had many deep conversations about life that I will always appreciate.

And then there was the time he invited me to play in a charity golf tournament with him. I’ll never forget us sitting at lunch with Diana and their daughter, Alexis. I was able to see my pal Joe as a caring dad and husband…and it was a great day.

Joe absolutely loved to needle readers and other media…and there was nothing like sparring with him over a sports topic. He was very intelligent — one of the smartest people I ever met — and kept everyone on their toes. He was unique, old-school…and there just aren’t many like him in our business anymore.

Joe, we’ll miss you. And I will say a prayer for your family. Thanks for everything.

Tom Ackerman (@Ackerman1120) is Sports Director at KMOX.

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