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Twin Cities to host RBI World Series for third time

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MINNEAPOLIS -- For the third consecutive year, the Twins will host the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) World Series, with baseball and softball tournament games to be played around the Twin Cities.

RBI leagues from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and South America will compete in eight regional qualifying tournaments throughout the United States and the Dominican Republic beginning June 27, before the World Series is held Aug. 3-14. The championship softball games will be played at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota softball team, and the baseball championships will be played at Target Field.

The Senior Division baseball championship game and the softball division championship will be broadcast on MLB Network and will be streamed on MLB.com.

"This is the third consecutive year for us, and you can count on one hand how many teams have hosted the RBI World Series three consecutive years," said Kevin Smith, the senior director of corporate communications and broadcasting for the Twins. "Major League Baseball and the Twins have worked well with this program. We understand the relevance of that program nationally, internationally and here in Minnesota."

RBI is administered by Major League Baseball and is 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 program serves more than 220,000 young men and women in more than 300 programs in more than 200 cities worldwide. More than 200 RBI participants have been drafted by MLB teams throughout the program's 24-year history.

In 2011 and '12, World Series events in Minnesota featured appearances from Commissioner Bud Selig and Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield.

"To able to bring these kids to Target Field and see their faces and the 'wow' factor at a Major League facility, you can't put words to it," Smith said. "A lot of these kids have never been on airplane, much less outside of their hometown, much less here. You add all that together and it's an experience they'll never forget."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.‬ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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