Sid Hartman
(1920-2020)

Where the scoops happened

Sid’s office reflected his work ethic: chaotic and insatiable with a blurred line between the professional and the personal. The 100-year-old sports columnist made his name by going everywhere, every day, and his office at the Star Tribune was where he gathered up whatever information he had gained and delivered it to readers. But the office was more than a reflection of Sid’s work; it was also a shrine.

Photo by Shari L. Gross.

Photos adorned every inch of one wall, most of them featuring Sid, and covered the entirety of his life. While you could find images of Sid with U.S. presidents (Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford) and sports icons (Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, John Wooden), you would also find photos of his family. Sitting next to Sid’s computer and behind his telephone, where he focused his attention every day, was a picture of him with his son, Chad, and his grandkids. There were notes from George Steinbrenner, Pete Carroll, Tony Dungy and Bud Grant and copies of articles that had been written about Sid over the decades.

His floor and desk were covered in e-mails, newspaper clippings and media guides. Cassette tapes teetered and toppled in every corner. Phone numbers written on Post-it Notes were stacked next to his phone and taped to his computer. The only clue you’d have that Sid wasn’t returning was the battery-operated clock that hung above his desk had stopped ticking.

Sid stopped time

Sid’s energy rarely wavered. The batteries powering the clock on his office wall had no such reservoir and ran out while Sid stayed out of the newsroom and safe from the coronavirus over these past months.

RECORDING FOR THE RECORD

For decades, Sid famously did interviews with an ancient tape recorder and microphone. That one was eventually retired, but a cassette recorder remained his device of choice; this is one of three in the office.

NOT JUST SPORTS STARS

Sid’s collection of photos includes a framed one of late Broadway star Carol Channing. Asked last year by WCCO’s Mike Max if there were any stories about Channing, Sid smiled and said, “I’ll keep those a secret.”

OFFICE JOTTINGS

Besides all the media guides and programs, other office odds and ends include this bobblehead of Ron Gardenhire, a statuette of Joe Mauer, a broken replica Larry O’Brien Trophy and even a book on Jeff Gordon.

SO MANY FRIENDS

“Thanks for your close personal friendship,” writes ex-Vikings star Chad Greenway in one of many autographed pictures. The phrase “close personal friend” was as associated with Sid as his tape recorder.

UNIVERSAL LOVE FOR U

Play for the Gophers? You had a booster for life in Sid. Paul Molitor found that out through a Hall of Fame playing career that ended with the Twins. “Thanks for always being in my corner,” Molitor wrote here.

Credits

Reporting Jeff Day and Ken Chia

Photography Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Shari L. Gross

Design & development Anna Boone