The dean of Minnesota sports, legendary sportswriter Sid Hartman, has died at the age of 100:

Sid Hartman was, for all of his 100-plus years, a hometown guy. Born on the North Side of Minneapolis on March 15, 1920, he worked for newspapers in his hometown for nearly his entire life, until his death on Sunday afternoon.

From a humble start selling newspapers on the street in 1928, he wrote about sports for the Star Tribune for the ensuing decades. He was still writing three columns a week, his final one appearing on the day he died…. He gained a stature very few journalists have achieved, becoming one of this state’s legendary public figures. For years, he was also a power broker in the local sports scene, playing an integral role in the early success of the Minneapolis Lakers pro basketball team while serving as the team’s de facto general manager and working behind the scenes to help bring major league baseball to Minnesota.

He created a rags-to-riches story unlike any his hometown has seen, working his way from the very bottom of the newspaper industry to one of the most influential and popular figures ever to use a typewriter, and later computer, for his livelihood. He also became a popular radio personality for WCCO and for 20 years was a panelist on a Sunday night TV show. If Minnesotans referred to “Sid,” there was no doubt who they were talking about, much the same as the first-name status of the greatest of those he covered, men like “Kirby” and “Harmon” and “Bud.”

According to a count by Star Tribune staffer Joel Rippel, Hartman produced 21,235 bylined stories in his career, from 1944 until the one that ran on C2 of Sunday’s Sports section. That column was his 119th of 2020.

I never met Sid Hartman. But I read him on a regular basis for the last 45 years and listened to him on ‘CCO for nearly two decades. He was the model for success through consistency and hard work, and his career will always serve as an inspiration to those of us who are aging writers. I’m just sorry that he never got to see the Vikings win the Super Bowl.