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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

January 28, 1998|DARIN ESPER

What: Exhibit: Box Scores . . . and Much More: The Art of the Sports Page

Where: San Diego Museum of Art,

Balboa Park. Through Sunday.

For many, the concept of a sports cartoon brings Tank McNamara to mind, but in the not-so-distant past daily newspapers had staff cartoonists contributing to the sports pages regularly.

They were artists who often combined portraiture and caricature in the same panel, who might pay tribute to an athlete one day, then lampoon a current event from the world of sports the next. They filled the panel with witty prose to drive home a point.

It is this style of art that makes up the bulk of this exhibit, although there are a few artists' renditions of sporting events from the 19th century--such as a Currier & Ives color print of an 1846 baseball game between the New York Nines and the New York Knickerbockers.

Bill Gallo's preview for the New York Daily News of the second Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson fight chronicled Tyson's life before biting Holyfield's ear and contained a cryptic suggestion of things to come: "How this Tyson saga ends has yet to be written. But one thing's for sure--So far, it's one of those stories no writer could have made up, not even Hemingway."

A cartoon by Karl Hubenthal, whose work appeared in the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, previewed the second heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks with an illustration of Father Time standing behind Spinks in the ring as both land blows to Ali's jaw.

It all adds up to quite a collection from the world of sports.

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