1988 Sports Illustrated Article Pivotal in Jump-Starting MSBL

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

2022 represents the 35th anniversary of the Men’s Senior Baseball League, the first league established in the United States specifically for the purpose of extending participation in a sport dear to aging baseball aficionados.  MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler had an idea back in the late 80s, as his unfulfilling softball junket left him yearning to get back on the diamond and play the ‘real game.’

The news was beginning to spread locally about his Long Island league experiment.  Somewhere along the line Sports Illustrated heard about Steve’s mission and passion and approached him seeking permission to write an article about his quest.  They came up with the title ‘Hardball for Kids over 30.’  At that time, Sports Illustrated was THE publication that every sports fan in the country read.  And so, it began.

You may have noticed that we have been publishing historical accountings on the website this year featuring long-standing league presidents and members.  We have titled our ongoing series ‘A 35 Year Celebration of MSBL: How it all Began.’  As I have been interviewing all of the wonderful participants, one comment comes through loud and clear from almost everyone. “I remember reading the Sports Illustrated article about this baseball league for adults and rushed home and picked up the phone.”

That was July 4, 1988.  Many of you not yet classified as Baby Boomers may not even know of this article.  We were able to dig it up and want to bring it to you so that you can experience the expanse of what Steve and his wife Connie accomplished over the dining room table in Jericho, New York as Steve also held down a full-time ‘real’ job while answering every phone call and corresponding throughout the country.

MSBL has grown from a local four-team league in Long Island to over 75,000 members as we enter our anniversary year.  To fully appreciate this pivotal part of the effort and to learn more about the daunting task and success story that laid the foundation for what you are able to experience today, please click on the SI cover above to read the original 1988 article that helped kick off your Men’s Senior Baseball League.