Sid Hartman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1920, started delivering Minneapolis newspapers when he was nine, and began a sports reporting internship for the Minneapolis Times in 1944. From there, he became a mainstay sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a radio sportscaster and commentator for WCCO Radio, and was the general manager of the Minneapolis Lakers, whom he helped build into the NBA’s first dynasty.
Hartman, who was still contributing to the Star Tribune this week, died on Sunday at the age of 100. The news was announced by his son Chad Hartman, who now hosts a radio show on WCCO.
My father’s extraordinary and resilient life has come to a peaceful conclusion surrounded by his family.
— Chad Hartman (@ChadHartmanShow) October 18, 2020
Per the Star Tribune, Hartman “produced 21,235 bylined stories in his career, from 1944 until the one that ran on C2 of Sunday’s Sports section. That column was his 119th of 2020.”
Along with his reporting, Hartman also penned two books. Sid!: The Sports Legends, the Inside Scoops, and the Close Personal Friends, and Sid Hartman’s Great Minnesota Sports Moments.
Sid Hartman died today at the age of 100 after decades of covering Minnesota sports.
Here's a feature from 2018 about his extraordinary life. pic.twitter.com/Dqvino57hi
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) October 18, 2020
So adored and revered in the Minneapolis sports scene that various franchises and stadiums have honored him. You’ll find a statue of Hartman outside of Target Center, the media entrance at U.S. Bank Stadium is named after him, the interview room at the Vikings practice facility is also named for him, and the University of Minnesota named the press box at TCF Bank Stadium after him as well.
One of the more interesting aspects of his professional career was that Hartman was largely responsible for getting the recently disbanded Detroit Gems basketball team relocated to Minneapolis where they became the Lakers. Hartman became the team’s first GM and helped assemble a team that won five league championships in six seasons. Hartman was able to keep his reporting job at the time because, well, conflicts of interest were just a thing that happened back then.
One reason I was allowed to avoid a conflict of interest with the paper was the fact that at that time every member of our staff had an outside job as a PR man for either the wrestling promoters, boxing promoters, etcetera.
As you might imagine, the tributes for Hartman poured in after the news was announced.
I don't know anyone who led a fuller life. I am so sorry to hear about Sid Hartman, but will always remain in awe of the life he lived. https://t.co/GHi0PLDvHc
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) October 18, 2020
There will NEVER be another Sid Hartman. The man defined MN sports. I so admired his work ethic, competitiveness & resilience. Forever grateful for his trust and friendship. God Bless the Hartman family. https://t.co/VyuR2kgMri
— Dave St. Peter (@TwinsPrez) October 18, 2020
If you've been in the Minnesota media anytime over the last, what, eight decades… you have a Sid Hartman story.
Nobody told more stories than Sid himself.
RIP to a true icon.
— Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) October 18, 2020
Sid Hartman made his bones back when a sports columnist could also function as a local team's GM.
Any Lakers fans celebrating their 17th NBA title this month — including the five in Mpls — owes a nod to El Sid.
(He's at far left in photo).
From 2011: https://t.co/ClEdDJMiyD pic.twitter.com/9HJOpbqhEq
— Steve Aschburner (@AschNBA) October 18, 2020
Sid Hartman once told me I was a hustler and that "I was everywhere."
It was honestly, the best compliment I've ever received. Rest in peace, Sid.
— Dave Schwartz (@Dave_Schwartz) October 18, 2020
Photo taken on Oct. 5th, 2019.
The one and only Sid Hartman—99 years old at the time—watching the Twins Playoff game while at the Gophers game.
— Jared Hines (@Jared_Hines27) October 18, 2020
For a full recollection of Hartman’s life and career, read the Star Tribune article about him.