In the Phoenix: Baseball!

I take a break from politics in this week's Phoenix to report on the state's largest amateur baseball league - the Rhode Island Men's Senior Baseball League.

Standing on the sidelines with the Dodgers, a better than average team in the league's 22-plus age division, was something of a revelation. Baseball doesn't have to end in high school or college. And neither does the camaraderie of those days - the shoot-the-breeze bonhomie that so often fades with work and marriage and kids. Indeed, the baseball game - its rhythm and sheer length - is a perfect vehicle for socializing.  

It was also a surprise to learn just how big this thing is. The Rhode Island league is just one affiliate of a sprawling, countrywide phenomenon of 325 leagues, 3,200 teams, and 45,000 players, with all manner of national tournaments.

Steve Sigler, the Long Island guy who got it started with a few friends, is now a full-time CEO of the national Men's Senior Baseball League, with offices in Melville, New York.

Other good stuff in the Phoenix this week: an amusing portrait of a dashing, full-time pirate re-enactor and a look-back, via a great American Experience documentary, at the Hurricane of '38 and the damage it wrought in Rhode Island. You think Irene was bad?

On newsstands tomorrow. On the Interzone already.

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