Major League Baseball today announced the participating Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) teams, consisting of more than one hundred young baseball and softball players, playing in the sixth annual Jr. RBI Classic, a friendly, round-robin tournament held each year during MLB All-Star Week. The event provides the kids (ages 11-12 from Jr. RBI playing divisions) with the opportunity to participate in MLB All-Star Week events and other off-field experiences, including rooming on a college campus, community service and meeting current and former Major Leaguers. The tournament will be played from July 10th to July 14th on fields throughout St. Paul and Minneapolis, the host city of the 85th MLB All-Star Game, which will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive MLB All-Star Week coverage.
The 2014 Jr. RBI Classic will feature RBI leagues from Canada and around the United States, including a baseball and softball team from the Minnesota Twins RBI program, which is based in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Following are the cities (and RBI leagues) represented in the 2014 Jr. RBI Classic:
Austin, Texas (RBI Austin) - Softball
Baltimore, Maryland (Baltimore Orioles RBI) - Softball
Birmingham, Alabama (Willie Mays RBI) - Baseball
Durham, North Carolina (Durham Triple Play RBI) - Baseball
Lancaster, Texas (City of Lancaster RBI) - Baseball
Little Rock, Arkansas (Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas RBI) - Softball
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (Minnesota Twins RBI) - Baseball & Softball
Mount Vernon, New York (Mount Vernon RBI) - Baseball
Pawtucket, Rhode Island (Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI) - Baseball
Saskatoon, SK, Canada (Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League Jr. RBI) - Baseball
Tampa, Florida (Tampa RBI) - Baseball
"The Jr. RBI Classic is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will be both enriching and fun for these young men and women," said David James, Senior Director of the RBI program. "These kids will have an unforgettable All-Star experience that they will carry for the rest of their lives, and we are very proud to provide this opportunity to them."
MLB will be supplying the teams with uniforms, equipment and All-Star apparel. Additionally, the young athletes will have the opportunity to attend many All-Star events, including T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, featuring the Gillette Home Run Derby. Jr. RBI Classic players will also get the chance to meet 2014 MLB All-Stars as well as Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Roberto Alomar, both of whom are expected to be in attendance at the 2014 Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies in Minneapolis.
The Jr. RBI Classic will be played on baseball fields in the Twin Cities, including Bill Peterson Field, Gilbert de la O Field and Jim Kelly Field in St. Paul, and Rod Carew Field in Minneapolis. Softball games will be played at Dunning East and West Fields in St. Paul. The Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies and ensuing skills clinic administered by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will be held at the newly-renovated and renamed Sid Hartman Field at Northeast Park in Minneapolis.
As part of their All-Star experience, the young participants will help give back by packing meals for families facing hunger with Kids Against Hunger, an international humanitarian food-aid organization whose goal is to end world hunger by providing nutritious food to hungry children and families in the United States and 60 countries around the world. Kids Against Hunger distributes meals packaged by volunteers to starving children and their families through partnerships with humanitarian organizations worldwide.
The Jr. RBI playing divisions, established in 2009, provide opportunities to play baseball and softball to young people ages 5 to 12, and serve as a feeder program to the 13-18 age playing divisions of the RBI program.
The RBI program, which has served more than one million young people since its inception in 1989, is the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people, ages 5 to 18 from underserved and urban communities, with opportunities to play baseball and softball, to encourage excellence and achievement in education, and to teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. The RBI program currently serves more than 220,000 boys and girls in over than 300 programs that are established in more than 200 cities worldwide. MLB and all 30 Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information, please visit: MLB.com/rbi.
About the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 15th in Minneapolis and will feature the best of the American League taking on the top players of the National League. Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Target Field. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on July 13th featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 14th featuring the Gillette Home Run Derby on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Summer through a variety of special events including T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade of All-Stars. The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX, broadcast on ESPN Radio and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2014 All-Star Summer, visit AllStarGame.com.