More than one hundred young baseball and softball players in the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program will participate in the 5th annual Jr. RBI Classic, a friendly, round-robin tournament held each year during MLB All-Star Week. The event provides the kids (ages 11-12 from Jr. RBI playing divisions) with the opportunity to participate in MLB All-Star Week events and other off-field experiences, including rooming on a college campus and meeting current and former Major Leaguers. The tournament will be played from July 12th to July 15th on fields throughout Queens, NY, the host city borough of the 84th MLB All-Star Game, and will feature RBI leagues from around the country including several local programs from Harlem (NY), Hartford (CT) and Newark (NJ).
Following are the cities (and RBI leagues) represented in the 2013 Jr. RBI Classic:
· Denver, Colorado (Colorado Rockies RBI) – Softball
· Detroit, Michigan (Detroit PAL RBI) – Softball
· Hartford, Connecticut (Mayor Mike Peters RBI) – Baseball
· Houston, Texas (South Central Sportz RBI/St. Monica Youth Sports Ministry RBI) – Baseball
· Greenbelt, Maryland (Prince George’s County Boys & Girls Club RBI) – Baseball
· Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles Recreation & Parks RBI) – Baseball
· New York, New York (Harlem RBI) – Softball
· Newark, New Jersey (Newark RBI) – Baseball
· Norfolk, Virginia (City of Norfolk RBI) – Softball
· Reading, Pennsylvania (Olivet Boys & Girls Club RBI) – Softball
· Syracuse, New York (Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse RBI) – Baseball
“The Jr. RBI Classic offers young participants of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program a comprehensive and enriching experience,” said David James, Director of the RBI program. “This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will give these kids the chance to meet peers from other parts of the country, stay on a college campus and participate in All-Star Week events. For many of these young people, this experience, all in the backdrop of the Midsummer Classic, will open their eyes to a world of possibilities, and we are proud to be a part of that.”
MLB will be supplying the teams with uniforms, equipment and All-Star apparel. Additionally, the young athletes will have the opportunity to attend many All-Star events such as T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and the Chevrolet Home Run Derby. Jr. RBI Classic players will also get the chance to meet MLB All-Star players, former Major Leaguers and celebrities, including Darryl “DMC” Matthews McDaniels from the legendary hip-hop group Run DMC at a Brooklyn Cyclones game early on in their Jr. RBI Classic experience.
The friendly round-robin tournament will be held on baseball and softball fields throughout Queens, New York, including College Point Fields and Cunningham Park for baseball, and Alley Athletic Playground and St. John’s University for softball. The Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies and ensuing skills clinic administered by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will be held at the newly-renovated Hinton Park, which is located near Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets. The Jr. RBI playing divisions, established in 2010, provide opportunities to play baseball and softball to young people ages 5 to 12, and serve as a feeder program to the 13-18 age playing divisions of the RBI program.
The RBI program is a Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide opportunities to play baseball and softball, to encourage excellence and achievement in education, and to teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons for young people, ages 5 to 18, from underserved and urban communities. The RBI program is providing more than 210,000 boys and girls with the opportunity to play baseball and softball in more than 300 programs established in more than 200 cities worldwide. MLB and all 30 Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information, please visit: MLB.com/rbi.
About the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 16th in New York City and will feature the best of the American League taking on the top players of the National League. Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Citi Field. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on July 14th featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 15th featuring the Chevrolet Home Run Derby on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Summer through a variety of special events including T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; the MLB All-Star Game 5K & Fun Run Benefiting Sandy Relief presented by Nike; and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade of All-Stars through the streets of Manhattan. The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX, broadcast on ESPN Radio and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2013 All-Star Summer, visit AllStarGame.com.