Players enjoy finale to Jr. RBI Classic

Participants appreciate experience despite cancellations due to weather, wrap up event with Derby

CINCINNATI -- After having games cancelled the past two days, coaches and players returned to the field on Monday morning to wrap up the seventh annual Jr. RBI Classic.

Poor weather throughout the four-day event reduced the regularly scheduled seven games for the baseball teams and six games for the softball teams to only three games each. To get around the weather hurdles, the event put on clinics and Wiffle Ball games during the regularly scheduled game times at the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy.

Despite most of the games being cancelled, players and coaches were still thrilled and appreciative to be a part of the experience.

"I thought it was fun," said Keriq Fletcher, an 11-year-old on Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee-Nashville RBI. "I had a lot of fun with people I didn't really know from other cities and places."

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred also made a brief appearance at the competition on Monday to check out one of the games still in action. Antonio Scott, a 12-year-old on Macon RBI, was on the field when Manfred was on hand, only adding to his experience during the event.

"I've enjoyed everything that the RBI program has done," Scott said, "giving us the opportunity to play baseball against [teams from] different cities, towns and states."

The friendly tournament brought eight baseball and four softball teams from across the country to the Queen City. The tournament was centered around the 11- and 12-year-olds having fun, with scores not being kept during the games.

The event also featured a number of off-the-field activities, such as attending the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, SirusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.

City of Louisville RBI head coach John Yates pointed out the extra activities as a big piece of the event, but he also enjoyed seeing the kids come together throughout the event.

"Just having these kids play together and watching them come together, by all means, that's the best thing," Yates said. "Just to see them enjoy each other. Whether we win, whether we lose, they come out here and leave with a smile on their face."

With the games wrapped up, the players and coaches concluded the entire event on Monday night by attending the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.

Throughout the competition, many players and coaches pointed to attending the Home Run Derby as the perfect grand finale finish to the event.

"For me, the best part is the Home Run Derby tonight," Yates said. "I'm going to be like a kid in the candy store running around."

During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app.

The 86th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins 7 p.m. ET), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.