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Tim Baylor opens up on success in north Minneapolis following NFL career

Former Viking sees success as businessman in north Minneapolis
Former Viking sees success as businessman in north Minneapolis 04:00

MINNEAPOLIS —Tim Baylor was waived by the Baltimore Colts, his home team, when the Vikings called to sign him in 1979.

"Back then when they told me I was coming to Minnesota, the only thing I knew about Minnesota was snow. And I was watching some TV and they were advertising fertilizer," Tim Baylor said.

After two years and an injury, his Vikings career was over. But his career was just getting started. He went to work for McDonald's corporate. Then, in 1997, he purchased his own franchise on Broadway in north Minneapolis. 

He was just getting started. He's now an owner-operator of 11 Twin Cities McDonald's.

It is on the north side of Minneapolis where kids that play football, and some that do not, need hope.

"I think it's important that not just kids and students and athletes, but just people in the neighborhood, that can see that, 'Hey, here's somebody doing something in the community, if we want to talk to them, they're accessible,'" Tim Baylor said.

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He doesn't just talk it, he lives it. He and his wife of 46 years bought a home in north Minneapolis. It is where they live and raised two children, where she too has flourished as a teacher and business leader.

"I see my neighbors and my friends, I walk the river. This is a beautiful community," Doris Baylor said. "A lot challenges, but if we don't stand up and try to make it different, who will?"

He employs some 500 workers.

He is now developing another project — a 112-unit apartment on the other side of Broadway. A little more expensive than a traditional building in these parts, that's part of the concept.

"We want to make sure that is has all of the amenities and benefits that other communities in the Twin Cities have," Tim Baylor said.

It is a further connection for him and Doris to the city, to the part of town that is in the headlines for what the few do but is not the norm.

"We love this community. Thought the schools were good, the neighborhood is beautiful, the park system was amazing," Doris Baylor said.

For football life prepared Tim Baylor for what is his life — running a different team with different goals.

"It's stressful, it's akin to playing football, particularly professional football," Tim Baylor said.

It's been a win-win — the Baylors, McDonald's and north Minneapolis. For that, they are grateful for the journey.

"So when I look back and think how fortunate I am to have been in such a rich, diverse, culturally competent and very warm community, I thank God," Doris Baylor said.

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