A team from Cleveland, OH claimed the softball championship at the 23rd annual Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI, who finished the tournament with a 7-0 record, won their 1st RBI Softball Championship. Making their seventh consecutive appearance in the softball division, this is the first RBI World Series Championship in any division for the program.
Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI defeated Houston Astros RBI by the score of 3-0 at Allan Saxe Field at the University of Texas - Arlington in Arlington, TX. A 30-minute documentary about the softball portion of the RBI World Series will air on MLB Network at 11:00 am ET on Sunday, August 30th.
As the winner of the softball title, Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI was awarded the Dolly Vardens Trophy, named for an all-African-American women's baseball team formed in Philadelphia in 1867. Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI pitcher Andrea Scali was named the championship game Most Valuable Player. Scali struck out twelve while giving up just two hits over seven shutout innings. At the plate, she drove in two runs on the day with a single and a double. Scali dominated in the circle throughout the tournament finishing 5-0 with a 0.22 ERA and 54 strikeouts.
The baseball portion of the RBI World Series begins August 11th with the championships for the Senior Division and Junior Division to take place at Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, on Saturday, August 15th.
The RBI World Series, which was hosted by the Rangers for the second consecutive year, is the international baseball and softball championship tournament of the RBI program, the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities with the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success, and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.
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 (Atlanta Braves), 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), 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 currently serves approximately 230,000 young men and women in over 300 programs 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.