Reds Youth Academy: July 2021

Pitch, Hit & Run and Jr. Home Run Derby

On Saturday, June 5, we hosted our local annual Hit, Pitch, Run, and Jr. Home Run Derby event at the Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy. More than 90 individuals took part in the Hit, Pitch, and Run competition, while close to 30 more participated in the Junior Home Run Derby, with an impressive 64 home runs being hit overall.

Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run (PHR) is a FREE, one-day event for boys and girls between the ages of 7-14. PHR is a fun and exciting opportunity for kids to showcase their pitching, running and hitting abilities. PHR is the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball. Participants compete in either the Baseball Division or Softball Division and have the opportunity to advance through three levels of competition, including MLB Team Championships hosted at Great American Ball Park and the National Finals held at the 2021 MLB World Series.

Major League Baseball Jr. Home Run Derby (Jr. HRD) provides players across the country an opportunity to participate in an exciting home run hitting contest. Jr. HRD is a FREE national program for boys and girls 14 years of age and under. The program includes three levels of competition within two age brackets of 12U and 14U, with top local performers advancing to the regional level at Great American Ball Park and, ultimately, the National Finals held at the 2021 MLB World Series.

Pitch, Hit & Run Winners


Ages 7/8: GianCarlo Garcia-Altuve

Ages 9/10: Ethan Smith

Ages 11/12: Shea Dillon

Ages 13/14: Brayden Lipps


Ages 7/8: Mackenzie Gill

Ages 9/10: Caydence Gambrel

Ages 11/12: Chloe Cox

Ages 13/14: Lillian Cartier

Home Run Derby Winners

12U – Jacob Maurer

14U – Ethen Weimer

Reds Signing Day

The Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund were proud to host the fifth annual RCF Signing Day, presented by Ohio’s 529 Plan CollegeAdvantage. The event honored 15 individuals within the Reds RBI Baseball and Softball programs who graduated this spring and have committed to either play baseball or softball collegiately or pursue the opportunity to serve our country in the United States military.

Bally Sports Ohio’s Brian Giesenschlag hosted the event and was joined by Reds President and Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini, National Baseball Hall of Famer and Reds broadcaster Barry Larkin, general manager Nick Krall and Reds Community Fund executive director Charley Frank. Reds Youth Academy director Jerome Wright, Reds Youth Academy assistant director and RBI program coordinator Jeremy Hamilton, and many RBI coaches and leaders were on-hand as well.

After signing their letter of intent, players took photos and conducted media interviews, toured the Reds Hall of Fame, watched batting practice from behind the Reds’ dugout, participated in pregame ceremonies and watched the Reds vs. Brewers game from the Nor-Com Super Suite. It was a special day overall for the RBI members, their families and those who helped them get to this point.

Check out the link below to read more about the RCF Signing day event and stores from our RBI players about their experience being a part of the Cincinnati Reds RBI Program and Youth Academy.

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Juneteenth Event

On Saturday, June 19, the Reds Community Fund hosted a special program to celebrate Juneteenth at the P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy. This celebratory event included free food, music, local guest speakers and a short program around the C-Metro softball tournament that included the Reds RBI 14U softball team.

While the weather required a few adjustments to the original schedule, there was still a strong turnout, and all had fun. Special thanks to Tiffany Brown from the Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio organization and Dr. Alvin Crawford of the AACE ownership group (a Reds limited partnership unit consisting of local Black business and community leaders) for taking part and providing history on the importance of the holiday. Thanks as well to DJ Styles for providing the evening’s soundtrack and Ron’s BBQ (a minority-owned, Madisonville-based business) for providing meals for those in attendance.

Juneteenth is an annual holiday, celebrated on June 19 -- the day slavery officially ended in the United States in 1865 when Union troops finally delivered word to Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had ended. Two days after this year’s event, President Joe Biden officially recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Home Base

During the Home Base welcome ceremony, the Reds Community Fund was honored to unveil the first Academy banner featuring a female. Destinee Martinez won a national championship at Oklahoma and represented the USA in international competition. She is a regular visitor and contributor to the Reds Youth Academy through her current role with USA Softball. Reds Hall of Famer George Foster, who was a guest instructor throughout the week, was also honored with an Academy banner.

At the end of the week, the Reds Community Fund unveiled two additional banners, honoring Home Base leader and former Reds slugger, Dmitri Young, as well as LSU softball star, A.J. Andrews. Both have made a positive impact on the Home Base program and to Reds Community Fund initiatives over the years, including fall and winter clinics and ongoing support of the Home Base program. Their banners will be displayed in the batting cages at the Academy.