BURNS ON BASEBALL: Ken Burns, creator of PBS's critically acclaimed series "The Civil War," is working on a new project -- "The History of Baseball." PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gave the New Hampshire resident $1 million to begin production of the five-hour film, which is expected to be finished for broadcast during the 1993 World Series.

"Baseball is as important to American history as the Civil War," Burns said. "Baseball has been influenced by and has itself influenced politics, race relations, religion and morality, urban life, immigration and acculturation, literature, corporate capitalism, advertising and the media, women's history, international affairs and labor relations."

STUDENT ANNOUNCERS: For the second straight week, ESPN will use a college student as its sideline reporter during the network's Big Ten game telecast. This Saturday Iowa plays at Michigan at 12:30 p.m. About 10 communication majors from the host school are auditioned on Friday before the game. . . .

Sugar Ray Leonard will join ESPN's "SportsCenter" beginning Wednesday as part of the network's coverage of the Oct. 25 heavyweight bout between Evander Holyfield and James "Buster" Douglas. ESPN will go live to the weigh-in Wednesday at 7 p.m. . . . Yes, that was Gary Miller, formerly of CNN, anchoring "SportsCenter" this week. He switched networks last month. . . . Former NFL quarterback Steve Bartkowski is the host of ESPN's "Great Outdoors," which premieres Saturday at 9 a.m.

CUBAN VIEWERS: Cuban baseball fans have access to the World Series television broadcasts for the first time in 33 years, via Voice of America's TV Marti.

LOCAL HONORS: Pierce Michaels, 25, the one-man sports department at WFMD-930 in Frederick, Md., was given the UPI Award for Excellence in Sports Coverage in the Maryland, Delaware and Washington area.