Sid Hartman statue set for unveiling today [UPDATE]

Antediluvian sports-journalism relic Sid Hartman got his day in the sun this afternoon.

The 90-year-old Star-Tribune columnist and WCCO reporter was recognized with the unveiling of a statue in his likeness at 4:30 p.m., shortly before this evening's Twins game.

All day before the unveiling, the statue had stood enshrouded on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street. With arm outstretched and draped in brown cloth and a rope belt, it looked like some sort of Franciscan Halloween ghost-costume or a particularly unfortunate Abu Ghraib impersonation.

At the unveiling ceremony, Hartman was introduced by Twins legend Rod Carew, his radio partner Dave Mona, and WCCO anchor Mike Max, who toasted Hartman as "the man who has brought you sports like nobody else in the upper Midwest."

As the assembled crowd counted down from ten, Hartman and Carew pulled the drapery off, revealing Hartman's likeness with microphone outstretched. The granite base of the sculpture bears Hartman's name and the well-worn catch-phrase with which he introduces his interview subjects: "A close personal friend."

In a rambling but gracious acceptance speech, Hartman thanked the many "good friends" who helped his career along, and noted that as a child he used to ride the trolley lines in to deliver newspapers to a business that stood at the present site of the Target Center, just behind his new statue.

The Minnesota Arts Commission approved the statue in August, over the objection of the only journalist on the Commission, Minnesota Monthly's Tim Gihring.

Sid Hartman: Waiting for the right moment.
Sid Hartman: Waiting for the right moment.
Photo: Nick Pinto

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