Minnesota sports media lost its icon in Sid Hartman on Sunday

Atlanta Falcons v Minnesota Vikings

The name Sid Hartman is one of the most legendary names in Minnesota sports history. The reporter who made ‘a close personal friend’ out of every athlete he encountered passed away at the age of 100 on Sunday. 

I wanted to take some time to talk about the importance of an individual like Sid Hartman within the media today. If it wasn’t for his reporting I don’t know if I would have ever pursued my degree in journalism, and I know I’m not the only one he had this impact on. 

Although I wasn’t lucky enough to encounter Mr. Hartman on a regular basis, I did have the luxury of running into him several times while I was interning with the Minnesota Vikings. 

On a quiet winter afternoon in 2018 I was inside one of the offices at Winter Park in Eden Prairie. I was working on a Super Bowl related project for Lester Bagley in the Wilf office when I heard a loud “HEY” come from outside the door. 

Before I could get my composure after being startled, I looked in the hallway and there stood Sid Hartman. 

He smiled and said, “how’s it going young man.” 

I couldn’t say much as I was just scared half to death, but we had a bit of small talk before he turned the corner and proceeded with a sit-down interview with Bud Grant. They left the door open and I thought I was dreaming, as I was listening to a conversation between two of the most legendary sports icons in Minnesota history. Now, I didn't understand this at the time, but this small conversation went a long way for a 23-year-old kid that was still trying to find his way in the sports media world.

They talked about the Super Bowl coming to Minnesota, hunting, Grant’s playing days with the Eagles and even brought up his basketball career. 

The storytelling and interviewing ability of a then 98-year-old Hartman were second to none. I remembered thinking if I could be half as good at my craft then I could someday make a living out of my own storytelling. 

I know that I am such a small piece in terms of the lives that Sid Hartman impacted, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career path without his legendary work. Reading his pieces growing up not only made me understand what direction I wanted to go with my schooling, but it has also pushed me to become a better storyteller myself. 

I want to say rest easy Sid Hartman, but everyone knows that the foundation he laid in the media world didn’t happen because of rest. Instead, I just want to say thank you for paving the way for so many individuals like myself throughout your great career. 

Here’s to Sid Hartman and everything he did to pave the way for other aspiring writers like myself.

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