I didn’t think any of us were going to outlive Sid Hartman, but if you are reading this, well, we surpassed my expectations. The longtime Star Tribune columnist and WCCO voice passed away on Sunday afternoon at the young age of 100.
If you spent any sort of time in Minnesota you know all about Sid. Heck, if you watched any sporting event of any importance simply held in Minnesota you know of Sid. A man that is on the first-name level of fame alongside the likes of Elvis, Cher and Minnesota’s own Prince.
It shouldn’t be a shock that a 100-year-old man passed away, but it was a shock. Sid has been an integral part of Minnesota sports for decades and it is hard to imagine press conferences without his presence involved.
One of my favorite things in Minnesota sports is knowing that whenever a team makes a rare big singing that someone on that team’s PR team has to tell the big superstar the Sid story. Just imagine Josh Donaldson and a member of the Twins PR team having a 15-minute conversation about the impending questions from a nearly century-old man.
Many more qualified people will write down their stories, thoughts and tributes to Sid and rightfully so. A man that was pivotal in creating the Lakers dynasty and bringing the Twins to town, just to name a couple things, deserves all of the praise. Those stories will be better than mine because I can only pass along the simple smiles that Sid brought me.
A few years ago, my family had season tickets to the Timberwolves in the section directly to the left of the media. The dork that I am enjoyed seeing who from the local press was in attendance at the games and also to see if a certain someone would make an appearance in the front row. Sid usually did make his appearance and it would always bring a smile to my face. Seeing 90-something Sid just keeping on keeping on to watch a basketball team that, even with Jimmy Butler, probably wasn’t going to end up going far.
That’s the inspiring thing about Sid. He kept working until his dying day. Literally. Sid’s final column appeared in the Star Tribune the morning of his death.
It’s no secret that Sid was sometimes a punching bag, if you look in the archives of this blog you’ll see my own punches, but you have to be something to have that many people punching you. Sid was something in the best of ways.
Minnesota is a unique state. We’ve had two monumental deaths in the sporting scene in the pas week: Bob McDonald and Sid Hartman. A longtime high school basketball coach and a longtime media member. Most places those losses would be a quick mention in the sports section, but here they are front page news.
Sid has had his name all over the newspaper for decades so going out as the biggest news just feels right. He was made to be seen and he will be missed by all his close personal friends.