Once a thriving pastime, sandlot baseball lives a precarious existence today in the limbo between the ultraorganized rah-rah of the Little League and the IBM efficiency of the majors. That it exists at all is a tribute to men like Judge Charles Moylan, sponsor and No. 1 rooter for the Ijamsville (Md.) Bush Creekers, who this year managed to find enough good ballplayers in their tiny town (pop. 120) to win their ninth Maryland and State League pennant.
As a Supreme Bench judge in nearby Baltimore, Moylan is "alarmed at what's happening to kids," sees baseball as "the greatest builder of character and community spirit," and not only for toddlers and pros. "I tell the boys who come before me to get out of those cars and hangouts and onto the diamond," says the judge. No mere dilettante, His Honor batted .478 for his favorite team 40 years ago, and doesn't mind reminding people of his feat. "It surprises them," he says. "People don't think that old gray-haired judges were ever human."