Baseball Weekly, a color-splashed chronicle of the national pastime, hits the stands for the first time today, just as the major leagues get set to launch their season.

The paper, a spinoff of USA Today, goes on sale at 50,000 stores and newsstands and is also being delivered by mail. Planners already sense enough interest to increase the press run from 100,000 to 600,000."This is an audience that is very interested in getting more baseball information than we can provide, but they like the way we deliver it," said Gene Policinski, managing editor-sports of USA Today in nearby Arlington, Va. "These are real aficionados of the game."

The paper sells for $1, with the leadoff edition coming in at a fat 72 pages, including 17 pages of paid advertising.