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HATS OFF: SPORTS SPECIALTIES TO CELEBRATE SOSA'S HR RUN

          Sports Specialties signed an exclusive headwear deal
     with Cubs RF Sammy Sosa to market three new commemorative
     caps.  The first, a "Season to Remember" cap featuring
     Sosa's autograph and the tag, "1998 Season to Remember"
     embroidered on the front, will be available for retail
     delivery tomorrow and will be featured at Wrigley Field on
     Sunday during "Sammy Sosa Day."  The second will be a "Home
     Run Commemorative" cap featuring Sosa's autograph and final
     '98 HR total.  The third product will be a Sosa "Collector's
     Addition" cap, which will be available during Spring
     Training '99.  Sports Specialties will also incorporate Sosa
     into its '99 "6-4-3" cap marketing plan, which will include
     national marketing (Sports Specialties).
          SECOND-HAND SAMMY? Hartford Courant Sports Editor Jeff
     Otterbein, on the media's handling of Sosa's record run:
     "Some people think Sammy has gotten short shrift, and to a
     degree I think he did.  I think he caught a lot of people
     off guard, including [MLB]."  N.Y. Times Sports Editor Neil
     Amdur: "We ran a Sosa picture inside [the sports section]
     because we could not (change) color that late at night.  The
     Mets were the bigger display, but Sosa still led the
     section" (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/18).  An NBC News/Wall Street
     Journal Poll showed that 82% of those surveyed said that
     they were "satisfied with media coverage" of the home run
     race.  Sosa was profiled last night on the final segment of
     "NBC Nightly News," as Tom Brokaw said Sosa was "already in
     the record books as a Hall of Fame good guy."   NBC's Jim
     Avila: "In Chicago, Sosa is second only to Michael Jordan
     ... with a personality that transcends color" (NBC, 9/17). 
     On "Good Morning America," ABC's Jon Frankel profiled how
     the McGwire-Sosa HR race is creating a "welcome" diversion
     from "a lot of depressing headlines."  Frankel: "In a summer
     in which stock market slides and presidential errors have
     dominated the news, baseball has been the one story
     everybody is happy to read about" (ABC, 9/19).

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