Major League Baseball today announced the participating Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) teams playing in the seventh annual Jr. RBI Classic, a friendly, round-robin tournament consisting of more than one hundred young baseball and softball players held each year during MLB All-Star Week. The event provides the kids (ages 11-12 from Jr. RBI playing divisions) with the opportunity to participate in All-Star Week events and other off-field experiences, including rooming on a college campus, giving back to the community and meeting current and former Major Leaguers. The tournament will be played from July 10th to July 13th on fields throughout Cincinnati, the host city of the 86th MLB All-Star Game.
The 2015 Jr. RBI Classic will feature RBI leagues from around the United States, including a baseball and softball team from the Cincinnati Reds RBI program.
Following are the cities (and RBI leagues) represented in the 2015 Jr. RBI Classic:
- Cincinnati, Ohio (Cincinnati Reds RBI) - Baseball & Softball
- Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI) - Softball
- Columbus, Ohio (Driving Park Youth Baseball RBI) - Baseball
- Indianapolis, Indiana (Play Ball Indiana RBI) - Softball
- Louisville, Kentucky (City of Louisville RBI) - Baseball
- Macon, Georgia (Macon RBI) - Baseball
- Montgomery, Alabama (River Region RBI) - Softball
- Nashville, Tennessee (Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee RBI) - Baseball
- Paterson, New Jersey (Paterson RBI) - Baseball
- San Francisco, California (San Francisco Jr. Giants RBI) - Baseball
- Shreveport, Louisiana (City of Shreveport RBI) - Baseball
"Major League Baseball is proud to offer the young men and women participating in the Jr. RBI Classic this once-in-a-lifetime experience to be a part MLB All-Star Week," said Tony Reagins, Senior Vice President of Youth Programs, Major League Baseball. "In addition to having the chance to showcase their skills on the field, Jr. RBI Classic participants will have the invaluable opportunity to meet other kids from across the country, help others in the greater Cincinnati region through community service and experience a college campus - all while creating lasting memories."
The Jr. RBI Classic will be played on baseball and softball fields across Cincinnati including Withrow High School Fields and the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy, which offers free, year-round baseball and softball training as well as educational and baseball vocation programming.
As part of their All-Star experience, the young participants will give back by helping to harvest fruits and vegetables for hungry families at the Giving Fields. The community farm located in Melbourne, Kentucky is part of the Freestore Foodbank and provides fresh produce for Northern Kentucky food pantries, soup kitchens and other agencies that provide emergency food. All participants will also have the opportunity to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The Jr. RBI playing divisions, established in 2009, provide opportunities to play baseball and softball to young people ages 5 to 12, and serve as a feeder program to the 13-18 age playing divisions of the RBI program.
The RBI program, which has served approximately two million young people since its inception in 1989, is the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people, ages 5 to 18 from underserved and urban communities, with opportunities to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging excellence and achievement in education, and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. The RBI program currently serves approximately 230,000 boys and girls in over than 300 programs that are established in more than 200 cities worldwide. MLB and all 30 Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information, please visit: MLB.com/rbi.