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Can Baseball Save Your Marriage?

Howard Markman, marriage guru from the University of Denver and one of the creators of the very popular PREP marriage education program, noticed something interesting about Major League Baseball.

When Denver was hoping to lure a major league team ten years ago, he found that cities with a major league team had a divorce rate 28% lower than cities seeking one. Seven years after the Colorado Rockies played their first game, Denver's divorce rate has dropped by 20% to 4.2 divorces for every 1,000 people. Phoenix and Miami added major league teams, too, and their divorce rates dropped by 30%. Tampa's dropped by 17%, which is still above the 15% average drop nationwide.

I checked out our local stats. Pennsylvania, with two MLB teams, has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, 43% lower than Colorado's.

Markman suspects baseball is providing the sort of shared fun that keeps couples together. Here in the Philadelphia area, where the Phillies are in the playoffs against Markman's Rockies, baseball's a shared passion for lots of couples.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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