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From Major League to local teams, the nation’s pastime is alive and well

“I see great things in baseball,” wrote America’s poet Walt Whitman 169 years ago. “It’s our game — the American game.
    “It has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere.”

Unity Gardens grants grow leaders as well as plants and flowers

Plants and flowers aren’t the only things that grow in a garden. Leadership and civic involvement can also bloom. That’s a motivating idea behind Unity Gardens, a nonprofit that backs its philosophy with dollars.
    “We want projects that build community partnerships, bringing in volunteers and creating opportunities for leaders to emerge and take on new projects,” says Unity executive director Barbara Dowling.

Unsung hero of the ­Annapolis July 4 Fireworks

Planning and producing the fireworks display in Annapolis Harbor on July 4 is a big deal. “The 15-minute show takes a thousand hours of work to plan and produce” says Tom ­Chepurko, this year’s coordinator of July 4th Annapolis, the non-profit set up to raise the funds for the display. Twenty thousand people will come by car and boat to watch the show — and all will leave safe and happy....

July’s two full moons are prime viewing times

Does a full or new moon woo you? Perhaps draw you to follow its reflection in warm, shallow waters of the Chesapeake?
    Homo sapiens are not alone in lunar motivation. It’s shared by that most antique of species, the horseshoe crab, which chooses spring and summer high tides during those moon phases to mate along many Bay beaches

A lot has changed since I last saw the Stones on July 4, 1972

As a wild child of the 1970s, I spent a lot of time going to some truly amazing concerts. I pretty much saw everyone — Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, The Doors and the Rolling Stones, to name but a few — at venues large and small up and down the East Coast.
    The last time I saw the Stones was at RFK stadium in Washington, D.C., on a broiling July 4 in 1972. Stevie Wonder was the warmup act.

Leg 8 gives women their first win and Abu Dhabi Racing the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race trophy

It has been a long time coming, but an all-woman team has won a leg of the modern Volvo Ocean Race.
    English skipper Sam Davies and her largely rookie crew of Olympic champions of Team SCA had won some in-port races but not an offshore leg.

Thanks to Dad, I’ve checked and refilled oil, changed spark plugs and batteries, tightened wires, satisfied in the knowledge I could do it

My father, Marlow Hankey, came back from the Army in 1952 after a few years in Korea. While in the service, he learned to like the work of fixing cars and engines in the Motor Pool. His later-life tag of Mr. Fixit stemmed from that time.

Only poets have words for so tough a job

It’s that time of year again when, whether we deserve it or not, Hallmark tells us parents what a great job we’re doing raising our kids. Yet as we all know, perfection is unattainable. Toughing the job, Americans are increasingly parenting alone. Roughly a quarter of American children are raised by single parents, with nearly 20 percent single fathers, according to 2011 Census statistics.

I want to grow up to be like ­Diamond Dave

When I was a little kid, I wanted to play the guitar like my dad did. He’s a great musician, a human jukebox who can play hundreds of songs, whatever you want. Diamond Dave is what his music partner Mike calls him, a name that reminds me of the 1960s and of Woodstock, the culture he was immersed in when he was about my age, a teenager. He’s been honing his skill for more than twice as long as I’ve been alive, and it shows.

When every ounce is a drag on speed, how to provision for 5,500 calories per sailor per day?

In the nine brutal legs covering the 38,739 nautical miles of the Volvo Ocean Race, every ounce matters with the evenly matched, one-design boats. Sailors have been known to shave down their toothbrushes, and drinking cups often double as dishes.
    So what would the grocery list on a Volvo-65 look like on one of the longer legs, say from China to New Zealand?