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Woodbury Senior Living resident had long career covering Minnesota sports

Glenn Redmann, 86, of Woodbury reflects on more than three decades of covering Minnesota sports for the Pioneer Press and St. Paul Dispatch. (Bulletin photo by Youssef Rddad)1 / 3
A Glenn Redmann covered Gophers Baseball while reporting for the University Of Minnesota's student paper, the Minnesota Daily, in the 1950s. (Minnesota Daily archive file)2 / 3
Glenn Redmann holds a newspaper clipping of a column he wrote on the death of Dick Siebert in 1978. Siebert had a 11-year career as a first baseman in Major Leauge Baseball and later coached Gophers baseball. (Bulletin photo by Youssef Rddad)3 / 3

From allegedly catching 80 crappies while fishing with Kirby Puckett, to covering the Minnesota Twins' game seven defeat at the 1965 World Series, the better part of Glenn Redmann's life revolved around sports.

For 37 years, his love for the game saw him travel the country covering the Twins in their infant years as a beat reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the St. Paul Dispatch.

Still to this day, he can recall how many strikeouts a pitcher logged during a breakout season, as well as the small, personal details of staff who walk by his hangout spot at Woodbury Senior Living where he lives today.

Now 86 and long retired, Redmann recently sat down with the Woodbury Bulletin to reflect on his tenure as a newspaper man.

A Harding Senior High School graduate, Redmann got his first ink stains writing at the school's newspaper in the late '40s.

He played as the school's second-string catcher, but he admits he never thought he had the skills to play at the professional level.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War after high school and continued writing about sports for two military newspapers.

When the Air Force discharged him after almost three years in the service, Redmann attended the University of Minnesota where he covered baseball for the school's student paper, The Minnesota Daily.

"That was a good job," he said of the Daily. "We didn't get paid a lot, but you had good connections."

While at the Daily, he forged what turned out to be a long-time working relationship with Gophers baseball coach Dick Siebert.

He later wrote a column about Seibert's untimely death in 1978 that he's kept throughout the years.

"He died way too young," Redmann said while skimming over the printed cutout of the article.

After college, Redmann took a job at Hamm's Brewery in St. Paul but said he grew tired of it after a few years.

Wanting to get back to covering baseball, he brought a handful of his Minnesota Daily stories to a St. Paul Dispatch sports editor who hired him two weeks later.

The paper assigned him to cover the Twins during the summer and the Minnesota North Stars during the winter.

He also covered amateur baseball tournaments and worked as an umpire and scorekeeper.

Like most reporters assigned to cover a specific area, or beat, Redmann became close with many of the Twins players and coaches, joining them for rounds of golf and other social events.

"In those days, players didn't make the kind of money they're making now," Redmann said. He speculated that because players earned modest salaries in that era, they formed closer ties to the community and with members of the press.

Before games, Redmann would sometimes bring Twins right fielder Tony Oliva fish he caught and put into milk cartons. Oliva, in exchange, would snag a few baseballs balls for Redmann to give away as gifts.

Redmann also recalled fishing Twins centerfielder Kirby Puckett near Puckett's home in western Wisconsin.

On one such trip, Redmann said he and Puckett combined in catching 80 crappies, which is 30 fish over the current limit in Wisconsin today.

With the demands put on reporters to both cover stories and maintain relationships with sources, Redmann said his wife's support helped him sustain his long career.

"I had a lot of 10 and 12 hour days," he said. "My wife was an angel because she took care of our four kids a lot of nights. She didn't get much help from me because I was gone all the time."

Toward the end of his career, he took a copy editing job for the Dispatch, which allowed him to work a set schedule and included a salary bump.

He still regularly attended Twins games after he retired. The Twins organization even saved him a parking space at the Metrodome and his seat in the press box before the team moved to Target Field in 2010.

Now he catches every game from his home at Woodbury Senior Living.

In the mornings, he can be found reading the newspaper and chatting with staff and other residents about Minnesota sports.

With the Twins attempting to recoup from a 103-loss season in last year — an all-time worst record — Redmann predicted Minnesota's ball club will likely see some improvement in 2017.

"I think they'll win more games than last year," he said, pausing for a moment. "And I hope they win more games than they lose."

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