The RBI World Series will be settled deep in the heart of Texas.
RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) will welcome 24 diverse teams to Arlington to compete for its 2014 championship, and the title game will be held on the field of Globe Life Park, home of the Rangers.
RBI seeks to give disadvantaged youths a chance to play baseball and softball and to learn life lessons through sports, and the RBI World Series will welcome teams from all over. In addition to entries from the United States, there are also teams from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela vying for the RBI World Series title.
Teams from Austin, Texas, Kansas City and Prince George's County in Maryland will be competing in the RBI World Series for the first time. Tournament seeding and playoff games will be played on fields throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex before graduating to the big stage at Globe Life Park. The championship round of the softball tournament will be played at Texas Woman's University in Denton.
The baseball portion of the tournament will begin on Wednesday with an opening luncheon featuring MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. The players will participate in a workout day on Thursday, and the games will begin in earnest Friday on fields in Grapevine and Colleyville.
The baseball championship games will be played August 16, and the senior division championship game will be aired on MLB Network and MLB.com at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The softball championship game will be played on August 17, and will air on MLB Network and MLB.com on August 19 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
"Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is one of our game's most important youth programs, offering young men and women opportunities to succeed on the field," said Selig in a news release. "Most importantly, RBI provides its participants with experiences and lessons that go beyond baseball and allow them to grow as individuals. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate all of the players and coaches and wish them the best of luck in the 2014 RBI World Series."
The RBI program was first developed in 1989, and it has helped serve 2 million children in the last 25 years. MLB teams have drafted more than 200 kids with ties to the program over that time, and countless other RBI alumni have gone on to play baseball or softball at a four-year university.
MLB and its clubs have donated more than $30 million to RBI over the years, and the organization currently counts more than 300 programs and more than 220,000 kids under its umbrella. More than 200 cities have an RBI program, and the RBI World Series will crown the best of the best.
"The Texas Rangers, in conjunction with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, are proud to be hosting the 2014 RBI World Series," said Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis in a news release announcing the upcoming tournament. "We are thankful to the cities of Grapevine and Southlake, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, and Texas Woman's University for the use of their world-class facilities during the event. Locally, the Rangers and the Rangers Foundation are pleased to annually support more than 2,000 kids playing RBI Baseball and Jr. RBI Baseball, and are honored to have the best of the best here in Texas through the RBI World Series."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com