Former AJC writer Joe Strauss dies of leukemia

Former Atlanta-Journal Constitution baseball beat writer Joe Strauss died Sunday from complications related to a yearlong battle against leukemia. He was 54.

A native of Richmond, Va., Strauss began his newspaper career at the Gwinnett Daily News, serving as a sports writer covering the Braves, Falcons and Univeristy of Georgia. He worked at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer before joining the AJC in 1988 as the national baseball writer.

In Atlanta he helped cover the Braves' rise from worst to first to World Series champions. Strauss lef the AJC nearly a decade later - replacing Buster Olney - for the Baltimore Sun, where he covered the Orioles and the end of Cal Ripken Jr.'s streak of consecutive games played. In 2001, he joined the staff at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and rose to columnist.

His death was marked by the team and managers he covered:

Tony La Russa, a Hall of Famer and manager of the Cardinals for most of Strauss' time as the beat writer, told the Post-Dispatch:

"Joe was really the type of person and professional that the more you were around him, the more you got to know him and appreciate everything about him."

Strauss is survived by his wife, Diana Minardi Strauss, and their daughter, Alexis. Services are pending.