Today is the day that a true institution in the world of Minnesota sports celebrates a truly significant milestone.
Sid Hartman, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter that has seen pretty much everything that’s ever happened in the history of Minnesota sports, including the Minnesota Vikings, celebrates his 100th birthday today.
Hartman, who received no formal writing training, penned his first column for the Minneapolis Times on 11 September 1945. According to this piece from Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Hartman has had 21,149 bylines in his writing career. That’s. . .that’s a lot. The fact that he’s still working at the age of 100 is pretty damn amazing, when you think about it.
Not only does Sid have a rich history of covering Minnesota sports teams, he also had a hand in building a very significant one. In 1947, he became the General Manager of the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers (while still working as a newspaper writer, mind you), helping to build what was the first dynasty in NBA history. That Lakers team won five championships in six seasons from 1949 to 1954.
One of the players on the Lakers team that won the NBA title in the 1949-1950 season was a young man from the University of Minnesota named Harry Grant. You might know him as “Bud.” Sid Hartman drafted Bud Grant in 1949, and he spent two seasons with the Lakers.
There isn’t enough column space here to talk about everything that Sid Hartman has seen over the years. The media entrance at U.S. Bank Stadium will forever be named after him, as will the press box at TCF Bank Stadium and the media facility at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan.
Happy Birthday, Sid Hartman! Thank you for all of the things you’ve memorialized over the years as a part of the Minnesota sports scene.
The Vikings put together a video tribute to Hartman that you can check out here.