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RBI Santo Domingo wins 2014 RBI softball championship

A team from the Dominican Republic claimed the softball championship at the 22nd annual Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. RBI Santo Domingo, who finished the tournament with a 6-2 record, won their third RBI Softball Championship.

RBI Santo Domingo defeated Houston Astros RBI by the score of 4-1 at Pioneer Field at Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. The softball championship will air on MLB Network and MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, at 10:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, August 19th.

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As the winner of the softball title, RBI Santo Domingo was awarded the Dolly Vardens Trophy, named for an all-African-American women's baseball team formed in Philadelphia in 1867. RBI Santo Domingo first baseman Lupe Matos was named the championship game Most Valuable Player. Matos went 2-for-4 with two RBI singles in the 4-1 victory over Houston Astros RBI. During the tournament, Matos hit .481 with 13 hits, including 10 singles and three doubles, 7 RBI and scored seven runs.

The baseball portion of the RBI World Series was played August 8th to August 11th with Jackie Robinson RBI of Jersey City, NJ and Miami Marlins RBI winning the championships for the Senior Division and Junior Division, respectively. The championship games were played at Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, on Monday, August 11th.  

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 currently serves approximately 230,000 young men and women in over 300 programs 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.

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