Newtown Baseball Team Manager Joe Mailloux: "We are excited to accept and participate in the Jr. RBI Classic and the All-Star game related activities. It is a great opportunity for our kids to be a part of and to meet other players and coaches from across the country. We can't wait to get there."
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 for young people ages 5 to 12 to play baseball and softball. The initiative serves as a feeder program to the 13-18 age playing divisions of the RBI program.
Following is the full list of cities (and 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
- Newtown, Connecticut (Newtown Baseball) - Baseball
- Norfolk, Virginia (City of Norfolk RBI) - Baseball
- Reading, Pennsylvania (Olivet Boys & Girls Club RBI) - Softball
- Syracuse, New York (Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse RBI) - Baseball
Major League Baseball honored the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during the opening games of the 2013 Regular Season. All players, managers, coaches, umpires and on-field personnel wore a symbolic ribbon patch and, with fans, observed a pre-game moment of silence in their opening games (March 31st to April 2nd) in a league-wide effort to remember the 26 individuals who lost their lives on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
In 2011, MLB extended a special invite to young players and coaches from the Joplin South Little League to participate in the Jr. RBI Classic during that year's All-Star Week in Phoenix. Every player and coach on the roster was selected based on their circumstances in the wake of the May 22, 2011 tornado that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Joplin.
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.