Jackie Robinson RBI of Jersey City, N.J. has won its second Senior Baseball Division Championship in three years at the 2014 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. They defeated Angels RBI, which was playing in its first-ever RBI World Series championship game, by the score of 7-3 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers. Jackie Robinson-Jersey City RBI finished the tournament with a 5-1 record. This Senior Baseball Division Championship Game will air on MLB Network and stream on MLB.com on Saturday, August 16th at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Jersey City left fielder Mark Venice, 18, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Senior Baseball Division Championship Game after driving in a game-high three RBIs, including Jersey City's first two runs in the first inning, and finishing just a home run short of the cycle. He finished the tournament with a .563 batting average (tournament-high), a 1.465 OPS (second highest, with at least 20 plate appearances), seven RBIs (tied for third most) and eight runs scored (tied for second most). Venice will be playing baseball with St. John's University in New York in the upcoming academic year.
The RBI World Series, which was hosted by the Rangers for the first time, is the international baseball and softball championship tournament of the RBI program, the Major League Baseball youth initiative 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 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 26-year history, and many others were given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been nearly 40 RBI players selected in the 2012-2014 MLB Drafts, 27 of whom have played in the RBI World Series (between 2009 and 2013).
Since the inception of the RBI program in 1989, MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, and more than 70 players since 2008. Alumni on MLB rosters during the 2014 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), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Hector Santiago (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Tyler Skaggs (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and Justin Upton (Atlanta Braves). Crawford (Houston RBI - '97), Loney (Houston RBI - '99), Crisp (LA RBI - '95, '96) and Gallardo (Fort Worth RBI - '03) have each played in the RBI World Series.
The RBI program, which has served approximately 2 million young people since its inception, 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, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. 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 $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information about the RBI World Series, please visit MLB.com/RBIWorldSeries.