MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On a Thursday, 60 years ago, the number-one song in the country was “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. Frank Sinatra was on the cover of Time Magazine. A TV station in Wichita, Kansas went on the air for the very first time. William Holden and Jennifer Jones were starring in the romantic film, “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing.” And a 35-year-old newspaper reporter started a remarkable career in broadcasting.
On Sept. 1, 1955, Sid Hartman began doing sports on WCCO Radio. He had been on WLOL reporting on Gopher football and finally got the call from WCCO General Manager Larry Haeg to come over to the “Good Neighbor.” And for 60 year, almost every single day of the week (to this day), you hear Sid Hartman on WCCO.READ MORE: Girl In Very Critical Condition After Being Shot In Head In North Minneapolis
By 1955, Sid had already been writing for the paper for a decade. He had been involved with the Minneapolis Lakers, even functioning as a general manager for the team before that title really existed. He had begun compiling a list of “close, personal friends” that one day would grow into the greatest Rolodex in sports broadcasting. But it was when he began on WCCO that the legendary character of Sid Hartman was born.
Through interviews with every sports star in the country — to running down the sports news with Cannon, Boone and Erickson and many others — Sid Hartman was the “voice” of Minnesota sports. As only Sid can tell it, “He wouldn’t answer the phone for anyone until they heard it was Sid. They picked up the phone.”
Sid’s Sports Heroes segment was a who’s-who of sports starts: Vince Lombardi, Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali and anyone else you can think of appeared with Sid on the radio. Even non-sports names like Carol Channing would show up from time to time. And of course it was the great Steve Cannon who dubbed Sid with the nickname that described him perfectly: “The Oracle.”READ MORE: Brooklyn Center Passes Sweeping Public Safety Resolution To Reform Policing
A few decades ago, Sid decided that Sunday morning would be a great spot for a sports show. First with Chuck Lilligren, then with Dave Mona, Sid has hosted the Sports Huddle for over 30 years and basically created sports talk radio.
Sid is now 95 years old. He still writes for the Star Tribune. He still is on the radio every morning, Sunday through Friday. He still is on the “Sports Show” on Sunday night on CW 23. He still goes over to the University of Minnesota almost every day looking for a nugget or a scoop, or maybe just to put his feet up on the football coach’s desk waiting for him to come back to his office (yes, it happens). He still makes it to almost every sporting event in town, from hockey to basketball, to football and baseball. He still does not understand soccer. And he still works harder than anyone else in the building.
WCCO put together a package of promos and imaging in the early 1980s that they dubbed “60 Years Strong.” Little did they know at the time that their veteran sports reporter was going to take that phrase and make it pale in comparison to what he has done.MORE NEWS: Starting Tuesday, Allina Clinics In Minnesota Will Start Vaccinating 12- To 15-Year-Olds
Congratulations on 60 years Sid Hartman! Can you give us 60 more? Nothing he would do could shock us now!