Nobu Yamauchi RBI, out of Hilo, Hawaii, has won the Senior Baseball Division Championship of the 2017 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series, earning their city's first baseball title in the 25-year history of the international tournament. Nobu Yamauchi RBI defeated Paterson Baseball Association RBI by the score of 6-3 today at the P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy. Nobu Yamauchi RBI, which made its third overall baseball appearance and first in the senior division, finished the tournament with a 5-1 record. This is Hilo's second overall RBI World Series championship, with the baseball team joining Nobu Yamauchi RBI's softball team that won the title in 2009.
Nobu Yamauchi RBI starting pitcher Justcye Ishii was named the Most Valuable Player of the Senior Division Championship Game. The Kamehameha School student-athlete never allowed Paterson to apply any pressure on offense as he delivered 5.1 solid innings in which he threw 51 strikes in his 85 pitches on his way to striking out six Paterson batters. He retired 15 of the first 20 batters he faced. On the day he allowed five hits and two walks.
The RBI World Series is the international baseball and softball championship tournament of Major League Baseball's RBI program, which is designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork. The Cincinnati Reds are hosting the RBI World Series for the second consecutive year. Every baseball team in the 2017 RBI World Series was able to play one game at Great American Ball Park, the home of the Reds. The rest of the games were played at Meinken Park, the P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy, Xavier University's Hayden Field and Withrow High School Field, which was one of the fields renovated as part of the 2015 All-Star Legacy effort between MLB and the Reds.
The RBI program has provided a path for many players to enter the college and professional game. MLB Clubs have drafted over 200 RBI participants throughout the program's 29-year history, and many others have been given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been more than 75 RBI players selected in the 2013-2017 MLB Drafts. In this year's draft, the Cincinnati Reds drafted both second overall pick Hunter Greene (Venice Boys & Girls Club RBI) and 34-round pick RJ Barnes (Cincinnati Reds RBI). Greene is the second highest selected alumnus of the RBI program (Justin Upton, Norfolk RBI, was selected #1 overall in the 2005 Draft). Barnes, the first player drafted out of both Cincinnati Reds RBI and the P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy, played in the 2017 RBI World Series.
Current Major Leaguers who are alumni of the RBI program include Yovani Gallardo (Seattle Mariners), Chris Iannetta (Arizona Diamondbacks), Nomar Mazara (Texas Rangers), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Hector Santiago (Minnesota Twins), Steven Souza, Jr. (Tampa Bay Rays), Justin Upton (Detroit Tigers) and Chris Young (Boston Red Sox). Gallardo (Fort Worth RBI -- '03) and Mazara (Dominican Republic RBI -- '11) have each played in the RBI World Series. NBC News senior food analyst and former White House chef Sam Cass is also an RBI World Series alumnus. The RBI program is administered by Major League Baseball and has served approximately 2 million young people since its inception. 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 $40 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs supp