|10/22/2020 9:10:00 AM|
Farewell to a legend
We bid farewell to a Minnesota legend on Sunday, century-old Star Tribune sports columnist Sid Hartman.
Sid's passing was mourned by the who's who of Hall of Fame coaches and players. The news found its way into broadcasts of live NFL games, network news and the pages of USA Today. WCCO radio carried more than three hours of air time Sunday, taking calls from well-known figures from across the country.
"It's a sad day," Star Tribune sports editor Chris Carr told The Associated Press. "He is the Star Tribune in many ways, at least in the sports department. It speaks to his amazing life that even at 100 and a half years old, he passes away and we still can't believe it."
Most of all, Sid's passing made an entire state pause. A rare single-name celebrity in Minnesota, many of us grew up with Sid. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find a Minnesota native who had not heard of Sid Hartman.
Sid's column was read regularly by our fathers and their fathers. For decades, area farmers routinely tuned in WCCO at 4:40 p.m. to catch Sid's daily sports update and "Today's Sports Hero," a show that featured American superstars ranging from Ted Williams to Bobby Knight. Sid's Sunday morning Sports Huddle on WCCO was, in its heyday, among the most popular sports shows in Minnesota history.
Of course, Sid wasn't universally admired, but no one disputed his work ethic. Despite his age, he continued to write at least three columns per week for the Star Tribune. His final column was published on the day he died.
Sid came from a low-income household, worked his way to the top of a tough profession - and never let up, even at 100. It was a life well-lived.
- Rahn Larson