Over a long, successful career in sports and entertainment management, Bob Reid worked for the Minneapolis Lakers, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota North Stars. He also managed the Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington for 13 years and represented clients like the Harlem Globetrotters, Barnum & Bailey Circus, the Ice Follies and “Sesame Street Live.”
But it was his sideline job as a public address announcer where Reid earned praise and distinction.
For 42 years, Reid was the voice of high school state tournaments in Minnesota. During that time, he did the public address at nine different state tournaments — baseball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, football, boys’ gymnastics, boys’ and girls’ hockey, softball and wrestling.
Reid, who was named to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Hall of Fame in 2005, died on March 30 in Wausau, Wis. He was 86.
“Bob was a mentor of mine. I learned a lot from him,” said Hamline University sports information director Dave Wright, who does public address work at state tournaments. “What stands out about Bob was how professional he was. He quietly went about his work. It wasn’t about him. He was perfect for high school events. He always said, ‘The players are the stars, we’re just here to present the story.’ ”
During the mid-1970s, in his role as the Metropolitan Sports Center building manager, he played an instrumental role in the first girls’ basketball and volleyball state tournaments.
“Bob had a big heart for girls and their right to play in first-rate arenas,” former MSHSL associate director Dorothy McIntyre said. “Bob opened doors for girls to play their first basketball tournaments in the Met Center. Then he offered his first-rate experience as an announcer for the girls’ state tournaments. He stepped up when we needed him and was simply a first-rate person and friend.”
Reid was born in Minneapolis and grew up in the Edina-Morningside neighborhood. He graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1949 and from the University of Minnesota in 1953 with a degree in radio and speech.
While at the university, he started his sports career by working in the school’s intramural and sports information offices. His first job after graduating was doing publicity for the Minnesota Centennial Commission.
In 1955, he became the publicity director for the Minneapolis Lakers. In 1958, he went to work for Max Winter Attractions doing public relations work for the Globetrotters, the Hawaii State Fair and the Midwest Auto Show.
In 1963, he went to work for the Padilla, Sarjeant, Sullivan and Speer public relations firm. In 1967, he became administrative director for the North Stars and in 1972, he took the job of the Met Center building manager.
Over his long career, he also did statistics for the Vikings and publicity and statistics for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He also served as the voice in the press box at U football games.
“I don’t know how he had time to do everything,” Wright said. “He was amazing. He never missed an assignment. He was a machine. He did the state wrestling tournament by himself, announcing all of those matches. I marvel how he did it.”
From 1985 to 1997, Reid worked for the Vee Corp. booking “Sesame Street Live” shows. In 1995, he did the public address at the first girls’ state hockey tournament. He retired after working the state baseball and softball tournaments in 2003.
Reid is survived by daughter Julie Bliss of Wausau, Wis.; son Frederic Reid of Shingle Springs, Calif.; brother John Reid of Seattle; sister Betty Kuechle of Chanhassen, and three grandchildren. His wife Eleanor died in 2009. They were married 47 years.
A memorial service has been held.