Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artifact Spotlight: Lamar Sparkman illustrations of Sandy Warshaw

In the 1950s, Sandy Warshaw had already earned notoriety in Tampa as a local junior tennis sensation. A champion of local and state-wide tournaments, Warshaw eventually rose to as high as fifth in the nation among junior players and won the prestigious Orange Bowl 18-and-Under singles championship in 1959. Just two weeks later, she captured the Dixie International Title by defeating three-time champion Laura Lou Kunnen in three sets. Today, Sandy Warshaw is best known as Sandra W. Freedman, who served two terms between 1986 and 1995 as the 55th mayor of Tampa.

Lamar Sparkman, a renowned cartoonist and artist for the Tampa Times and Tampa Tribune from 1947-87, is one of Tampa’s best-known chroniclers of sport. Local athletes knew they had made it when Sparkman chose them as a subject. One of his most lasting contributions to the Tampa sports scene came in 1975, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers commissioned Sparkman to design the team’s logo. The winking pirate, commonly referred to as “Buccaneer Bruce,” became one of the most recognized logos in all of sports. Sparkman passed away earlier this year at the age of 88, but his contributions to local history will never be forgotten. -- Travis Puterbaugh

Gift of The Honorable Sandra W. Freedman

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