Major League Baseball today announced the participating teams of the 2013 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series, which will be hosted by the Minnesota Twins for the third consecutive year. The 2013 RBI World Series features young men and women on 24 youth baseball and softball RBI teams representing 18 cities from around the United States and the Dominican Republic. Tournament seeding and playoff games of the RBI World Series will be played on fields throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul, with the baseball championship games being played at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins. The softball championship game will be played at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium at the University of Minnesota. The RBI World Series is the international championship tournament of the RBI program, the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball.
The following is a complete list of cities (and leagues) represented in this year's RBI World Series:
Junior Baseball Teams (Ages 13-15) Senior Baseball Teams (Ages 16-18)
Chicago (Union League Boys & Girls Club/Chicago Cubs RBI) Chicago (Chicago White Sox RBI)
Detroit (Detroit Arsenal Youth Sports & Fitness RBI) Detroit (Detroit PAL RBI)
Harrisburg (Harrisburg RBI) New York, NY (Harlem RBI)
Miami (Miami Marlins RBI) Harrisburg (Harrisburg RBI)
New Orleans (New Orleans Recreation Department RBI) Jackson, Mississippi (Mississippi RBI)
Pawtucket (Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI) Santiago, DR (RBI Santiago and Villa Altagracia)
Santo Domingo, DR (RBI Santo Domingo and San Pedro De Macoris) Tampa (Tampa RBI)
Venice, California (Boys & Girls Club of Venice RBI) Venice, California (Boys & Girls Club of Venice RBI)
Softball Teams (Ages 19 and under)
Atlanta (RBI Atlanta)
Cleveland (Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI)
Harrisburg (Harrisburg RBI)
Hilo, Hawaii (Nobu Yamauchi RBI League)
Hoboken, New Jersey (Hoboken RBI)
Houston (Houston RBI)
St. Louis (Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club RBI)
Santo Domingo, DR (RBI Santo Domingo and San Pedro De Macoris)
Teams from 39 states, two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and four countries (Canada, Curacao, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela) competed in RBI Regional Tournaments for a spot at this year's RBI World Series. Both New Orleans, Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi, represented by New Orleans Recreation Department RBI and Mississippi RBI, respectively, are sending teams for the first time in RBI World Series history. New York City, represented by Harlem RBI, is sending a baseball team for the first time since 1997.
The baseball portion of the championship tournament will be played August 5th-8th, while softball will take place August 10th-14th, both at various fields throughout the Twin Cities area (Baseball: Leonard H. Neiman Sports Complex, Parade Stadium and Red Haddox Field in Minneapolis; Concordia University and Toni Stone Stadium in St. Paul; Braemer Park in Bloomington; and Donaldson Park in Richfield; Softball: the Neiman Sports Complex and Dunning Softball Fields in St. Paul). The Senior Division Championship Game, played at Target Field, and the Softball Championship Game, played at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium at the University of Minnesota, will both air on MLB Network (Baseball: Saturday, August 10th at 11:30 a.m.; Softball: Wednesday, August 21st at 11:30 a.m.).
Additional experiences for the hundreds of RBI players will include participating in a community service event, attending a Twins game at Target Field and participating in a "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" essay contest administered by Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Additionally, Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig will address and meet the baseball participants at their closing luncheon at Target Field.
"Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is a wonderful program where young men and women learn the skills to succeed both on and off the field," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate all of the players and coaches for advancing to the 2013 RBI World Series. We wish them the best of luck during the games and hope this experience will provide a lifetime of memories."
In addition to RBI World Series tournament games, players in the baseball portion will participate in the annual MLB Scouting Bureau "Workout Day" on Sunday, August 4th, and will have a chance to meet former players including former All-Stars Gary Sheffield and Charles Johnson and Twins Legend Tony Oliva.
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 25-year history, and many others were given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships.
Fifteen alumni from the RBI program were selected in the 2013 MLB Player Draft, including New York Mets first round pick Dominic Smith (11th overall) and Philadelphia Phillies first round pick J.P. Crawford (16th overall), who are both alumni of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice RBI program and the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton. Additional RBI alumni drafted in 2013 were Kevin Franklin (Venice BGC/UYA, 2nd round, CIN); Matt McPhearson (DC RBI, 4th round, ARZ); Cory Simpson (Houston RBI, 6th round, SEA); Tyler Mahle (Angels RBI, 7th round, CIN); Willie Allen (Boston Red Sox RBI, 16th round, WAS); Fabian Roman (Jersey City RBI, 16th round, CIN); John Slater (Detroit Arsenal RBI, 31st round, ATL); Corey Ray (Chicago White Sox RBI, 33rd round, SEA); Cory Jordan (Houston RBI, 35th round, TB); Marshawn Taylor (Chicago White Sox RBI, 35th round, SEA); Juan Avena (Venice BGC/UYA, 37th round, NYM); Ro Coleman (Chicago White Sox RBI, 40th round, CWS); and Sal Mendez (Jersey City RBI, 40th round, TEX). Eight of these RBI alumni (Avena, Coleman, Crawford, Mendez, Ray, Roman, Simpson and Smith) have participated in the RBI World Series.
RBI alumni on MLB rosters during the 2013 regular season include Michael Bourn (Cleveland Indians), Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers), Coco Crisp (Oakland Athletics), Yovani Gallardo (Milwaukee Brewers), James Loney (Tampa Bay Rays), Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles), James McDonald (Pittsburgh Pirates), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves), Tyler Skaggs (Arizona Diamondbacks), Justin Upton (Atlanta Braves) and Chris Young (Oakland Athletics), among others. Dominic Smith (BGC of Venice RBI - '09/'10), J.P. Crawford (BGC of Venice RBI - '09), Carl Crawford (Houston RBI - '97), James Loney (Houston RBI - '99) and James McDonald (LA RBI - '02) have each played in a RBI World Series.
Twelve "RBI for RBI" scholarship recipients ($20,000 per student-athlete) will be recognized at the August 7th and August 9th RBI World Series banquets. In 2008, Major League Baseball established the "RBI for RBI" Scholarship Fund, a program created to provide financial support in the form of scholarships ($5,000 annually) to deserving high school seniors who participate in an RBI program league.
The RBI program, which is in its 25th year of operation, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic achievement and success, and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. RBI currently serves more than 220,000 young men and women in approximately 300 programs established in over 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 program and the 2013 RBI World Series, please visit MLB.com/RBI.