Marlins players Tim Anderson & Josh Bell surprise Marlins Nike RBI All-Stars

July 1st, 2024

On Sunday, June 23, the Miami Marlins Foundation hosted this year’s Marlins Nike RBI All-Star teams at the ballpark. While the athletes believed they were coming to take team photos, receive their uniforms, and watch the Marlins game, their visit turned out to be much more than that. Marlins players Tim Anderson and Josh Bell made it an experience that they will never forget.

Selected from the 650 athletes in the Marlins Nike RBI Program, the All-Stars make up three teams: Junior Baseball (ages 13-15), Senior Baseball (ages 16-18) and Softball (ages 13-18). They will compete against other MLB Nike RBI clubs at the Southeast Regional Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. from July 18-21, in hopes of advancing to the Nike RBI World Series.

Ahead of that trip, Anderson, the Marlins Foundation, and Nike worked together to surprise the All-Stars with free pairs of Anderson’s Nike Alpha Huarache NXT cleats. As Anderson and Bell emerged from the Marlins clubhouse to reveal dozens of boxes of cleats, the kids couldn’t contain their excitement.

"It’s always good to give back to the community, especially when you see the smiles on the kids’ faces and see the excitement," said Anderson.

"It was really emotional to have those Big Leaguers give us cleats," said Albert, a Senior Baseball All-Star. "I admire both of them, and them coming out of nowhere was very cool."

On hearing what the interaction meant to the kids, Anderson said, "It means a lot. To be that example for them and be able to bring some kind of excitement into their life that they’ll hopefully always remember, that’s enough for me."

According to Junior Baseball head coach Bob Romano, the experience accomplished exactly that.

"These memories are going to live with the kids for a lifetime," said Romano. "It means a lot to them. A lot of these kids don’t normally get to experience these things."

In addition to meeting and taking pictures with a pair of Major Leaguers, the cleats themselves were a home run among the All-Stars.

"Honestly, those cleats are really nice," said Callie, a Softball All-Star. "I think they did an amazing job of designing them."

Having been involved throughout the design process, Anderson was very pleased with the final product.

"The cleats turned out just how we wanted them to," said Anderson. "Nike did a heck of a job, and the process was pretty cool. To finally see the result, it was definitely dope."

These reviews did not come as a surprise to Bell, who said, "When Tim told me he had those cleats made and showed me the pictures, I knew the kids would be excited. I even almost snagged a pair for myself."

While being surprised with cleats from Anderson and Bell provided unforgettable memories for the All-Stars, their journey is just getting started. As the Senior Baseball and Softball teams look to defend their regional titles from last year, they will do so with the help and support from the Marlins Foundation and Nike, who are providing each of the teams with uniforms, transportation, boarding, and meals for their time in Jacksonville.

"Miami is a baseball city - the energy and excitement from our Marlins Nike RBI All-Stars proves that," said Myrna Vaca, Miami Marlins Foundation Executive Director. "We are grateful to our Marlins players for taking time to connect with our RBI All-Star teams and look forward to many more collaborations. With the support from our ownership and Nike, we are able to provide a once-in-a-lifetime trip for our All-Stars."

Romano added, "It’s an opportunity for the kids to do something that a lot of them don’t get to do on a regular basis or even ever. We’re just thankful for the Marlins and Marlins Foundation."

For more information on the Miami Marlins Foundation, visit