The Orioles are proud to announce that this year's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program boasts the highest level of participation in the history of the Baltimore chapter, with over 500 boys and girls involved this year.
Each age group has seen an increase of at least 40% from 2013; the number of teams has increased 50% in the 12-and-under group (nine teams in 2014 compared to six in 2013), 63% in the 13-15 age group (13 teams, up from eight), and 43% in the age 16-18 group (10 teams, up from seven).
Following the success of last year's inaugural four-team softball division, an additional team has been added in 2014. From July 10-14, an All-Star Team comprised of 11-12 year-old softball division participants will be flown to Minnesota for the All-Star Jr. RBI Classic as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week festivities. Major League Baseball will provide travel, lodging, equipment, and uniforms for all participants.
"The growth of the RBI program in Baltimore has been fantastic, and on behalf of Major League Baseball, I would like to thank the entire Orioles organization for its support at the local level," said Sr. Director of the RBI program, DAVID JAMES.
From July 18-20, the Baltimore teams across all age groups will play in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Prince George's County to earn a berth at the 2014 RBI World Series in the Dallas Metroplex Area in August. Additionally, on the morning of July 26, two All-Star Games will be hosted at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, one for the 13-15 age group and another for players aged 16-18.
To help ensure the availability of new equipment for the 2014 RBI season, Orioles OF ADAM JONES and Louisville Slugger are providing one baseball bat to each team. Jones will host a clinic, along with several Orioles players, this Saturday, June 7, at Carroll Park from 11 a.m.-1:00 p.m. for RBI participants and players from other city leagues.
RBI is a youth outreach program that is designed to promote interest in baseball, increase the self-esteem of disadvantaged children, and encourage kids to stay in school and stay off the streets. The program is a national Major League Baseball initiative administered and financially supported by the Orioles at a local level. The Orioles cover all costs that would be required from each team to participate in the league, including umpire fees. The club also provides baseballs and hats for players on each team and covers the cost of expenses for travel teams for each division to represent RBI Baltimore in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament. Winners of each division are presented trophies during a pre-game ceremony at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.