MLB announces the 24 teams advancing to the 2015 RBI World Series in Texas

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ANNOUNCES THE TWENTY-FOUR TEAMS ADVANCING TO THE 2015 REVIVING BASEBALL IN INNER CITIES (RBI) WORLD SERIES IN TEXAS

Baseball Championship Games Will Be Played At Globe Life Park, the Home of the Texas Rangers

Softball Championship Game Will Be Played at University of Texas at Arlington

Major League Baseball today announced the twenty-four teams advancing to the 2015 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series, which will be hosted by the Texas Rangers for the second consecutive year. The 2015 RBI World Series will feature young men and women on youth baseball and softball RBI teams representing 18 cities from around the United States, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Tournament seeding and playoff games of the RBI World Series will be played on fields throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, with the baseball championship games being played at Globe Life Park in Arlington, the home of the Rangers. The softball championship game will be played at University of Texas at Arlington. The RBI World Series is the international championship tournament of the RBI program, the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball.

The following is a complete list of cities (and leagues) represented in this year's RBI World Series:

Junior Baseball Teams (Ages 13-15)

Bradenton, FL (Bradenton RBI)
Chicago, IL (Chicago White Sox RBI)
Detroit, MI (Detroit PAL RBI)
Houston, TX (Houston Astros RBI)
Pawtucket, RI (Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI)
Phoenix, AZ (Arizona RBI)
Greenbelt, MD (Prince George's Boys & Girls Club RBI)
Santo Domingo, DR (Dominican Republic North RBI)

Senior Baseball Teams (Ages 16-18)

Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati Reds RBI)
Chicago, IL (Chicago Cubs/Union League B&GC RBI)
Harrisburg, PA (Harrisburg RBI)
Houston, TX (Houston Astros RBI)
Miami, FL (Miami Marlins RBI)
Paterson, NJ (Paterson RBI)
Phoenix, AZ (Arizona RBI)
San Juan, PR (Puerto Rico RBI)

Softball Teams (Ages 19 and under)

Cleveland, OH (Cleveland RBI)
Harrisburg, PA (Harrisburg RBI)
Hilo, HI (Nobu Yamauchi RBI League)
Hoboken, NJ (Hoboken RBI)
Houston, TX (Houston Astros RBI)
Montgomery, AL (River Region RBI)
St. Louis, MO (Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club RBI)
Santo Domingo, DR (Dominican Republic RBI)

In order to earn a spot in this year's RBI World Series, teams from 27 states, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela competed in RBI Regional Tournaments. Paterson (New Jersey) and Phoenix, represented by Paterson RBI and Arizona RBI, respectively, have qualified for the first time in RBI World Series history. Seven teams in the championship tournament represent RBI programs run by MLB clubs, including those from the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. Historically, ten countries and U.S. territories around the world have competed in the RBI World Series, including the United States, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas, United Kingdom and Venezuela. Additional notes include:

  • Bradenton is making its second overall appearance in the RBI World Series, its first since 2012 and its first-ever appearance in the Junior Division.
  • The two teams from Chicago represent the 28th and 29th appearances for the city, which is the sixth most in RBI World Series history. A team from Chicago has represented in the Senior Division in 12 of the last 14 years; 11 of 14 in the Junior Division.
  • Cincinnati is making its fourth overall appearance and first since 2010. It's making its first appearance in the Senior Division since 2002.
  • Cleveland is making its 21st appearance; 11 of those have been in softball (including in 2015).
  • Detroit has had at least one team in the RBI World Series every year since 2003. This year marks the city's 25th overall appearance.
  • Harrisburg's softball team earned its fifth consecutive berth, while its senior division baseball team has earned its fourth appearance in the last five years.
  • Hilo's softball team is making its seventh appearance over the last nine years.
  • Hoboken's softball team is making its sixth consecutive appearance.
  • Houston has a team in each division in the 2015 RBI World Series, which is the seventh time for the city and the most-ever for any city in RBI World Series history. Houston has now had 38 teams in the RBI World Series, which is second-most.
  • Miami is making its 28th overall appearance (seventh most) and second consecutive appearance in the Senior Division. Miami won the Junior Division Championship of the 2014 RBI World Series.
  • Montgomery is making its seventh overall appearance and its first-ever in the Softball Division.
  • Pawtucket is making its 12th overall appearance and its second appearance in the Junior Division in the last three years.
  • Greenbelt (Prince George's County, Maryland) is making its second consecutive appearance - its only two appearances in the RBI World Series.
  • St. Louis is making its 14th overall appearance, and has been represented in the Softball Division in four of the last five years.
  • Puerto Rico is making its 35th appearance (third overall) and its first since 2010.
  • The Dominican Republic is making its 28th overall appearance, its 11th consecutive appearance in the Junior Division and its fifth consecutive in the Softball Division.

The softball portion of the RBI World Series launches on Tuesday, August 4th with an Opening Banquet, with games beginning on Thursday, August 6 th. Games for the baseball portion begin on Wednesday, August 12th. On Tuesday, August 11th, the young men will participate in the annual MLB Scouting Bureau "Workout Day," where they will showcase their skills in front of professional scouts and collegiate recruiters. The softball Workout Day that is open for collegiate coaches to attend will take place on Wednesday, August 5th. Both softball and baseball teams will participate in a community service-based "PLAY BALL" event on their respective Workout Days.

Additional experiences for the hundreds of RBI players will include attending a Rangers game at Globe Life Park in Arlington and participating in a "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" essay contest administered by Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Twelve "RBI for RBI" scholarship recipients ($20,000 per student-athlete) will be recognized at the August 8th and August 10th RBI World Series banquets. In 2008, Major League Baseball established the "RBI for RBI" Scholarship Fund, a program created to provide financial support in the form of scholarships ($5,000 annually) to deserving high school seniors who participate in an RBI program league.

The RBI program has provided a path for many players to enter the college and professional game. More than 200 RBI participants have been drafted by MLB Clubs throughout the program's 27-year history, and many others were given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been more than 40 RBI players selected in the 2013-2015 MLB Drafts, more than half of whom have played in the RBI World Series (between 2009 and 2014).

Since the inception of the RBI program in 1989, MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, and more than 70 players since 2008. Alumni on MLB rosters during the 2014 regular season include Michael Bourn (Cleveland Indians), Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers),Coco Crisp (Oakland Athletics), Yovani Gallardo (Texas Rangers), James Loney (Tampa Bay Rays), Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Hector Santiago (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Justin Upton (San Diego Padres) and Chris Young (New York Yankees). Crawford (Houston RBI - '97), Loney (Houston RBI - '99), Crisp (LA RBI - '95, '96) and Gallardo (Fort Worth RBI - '03) have each played in the RBI World Series.

The RBI program, which has served approximately 2 million young people since its inception, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. RBI currently serves approximately 230,000 young men and women in over 300 programs established in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information about the RBI World Series, please visit MLB.com/rbiworldseries.