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MLB launches Jr. RBI program

Program seeks to increase inner-city baseball
MLB.com
For its 20th anniversary, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday it has further expanded the ever-growing Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities program with the formation of the Jr. RBI Program, presented by KPMG.

The Jr. RBI Program will be "a youth outreach program that will create playing divisions for children ages 6 through 12" and, like the RBI Program, "is designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, and teach the value of teamwork."

The Jr. RBI Program has committed to 16 pilot cities across the country, where they'll provide baseball and softball leagues to those communities' underserved youth. Those cities are: Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Bradenton (Fla.), Chicago, Cincinnati, Jackson (Miss.), Jersey City (N.J.), Nashville, Sacramento, Seattle and St. Louis.

"Over the past 20 years, RBI has provided a vehicle for inner-city youth to play the game of baseball and learn valuable life lessons," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a news release. "The launch of Jr. RBI, presented by KPMG, is an exciting step in bridging the gap for the children in these communities to enter this important process at a young age. I look forward to the further success and development of those programs."

The launch of the new Jr. RBI program will be celebrated with the inaugural Jr. RBI Classic in July during All-Star Week in St. Louis. MLB also will host the 17th annual RBI World Series, presented by KPMG, in Jupiter, Fla., in August.

Established in 1989, the RBI program now has a presence in more than 200 cities worldwide and annually provides more than 100,000 boys and girls with the opportunity to play baseball and softball.

For its 20th anniversary, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday it has further expanded the ever-growing Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities program with the formation of the Jr. RBI Program, presented by KPMG.

The Jr. RBI Program will be "a youth outreach program that will create playing divisions for children ages 6 through 12" and, like the RBI Program, "is designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, and teach the value of teamwork."

The Jr. RBI Program has committed to 16 pilot cities across the country, where they'll provide baseball and softball leagues to those communities' underserved youth. Those cities are: Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Bradenton (Fla.), Chicago, Cincinnati, Jackson (Miss.), Jersey City (N.J.), Nashville, Sacramento, Seattle and St. Louis.

"Over the past 20 years, RBI has provided a vehicle for inner-city youth to play the game of baseball and learn valuable life lessons," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a news release. "The launch of Jr. RBI, presented by KPMG, is an exciting step in bridging the gap for the children in these communities to enter this important process at a young age. I look forward to the further success and development of those programs."

The launch of the new Jr. RBI program will be celebrated with the inaugural Jr. RBI Classic in July during All-Star Week in St. Louis. MLB also will host the 17th annual RBI World Series, presented by KPMG, in Jupiter, Fla., in August.

Established in 1989, the RBI program now has a presence in more than 200 cities worldwide and annually provides more than 100,000 boys and girls with the opportunity to play baseball and softball.

Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com.