Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) leagues from around the United States and Canada that will participate in the fourth annual Jr. RBI Classic, the friendly, round-robin tournament, have been announced by Major League Baseball. The event provides hundreds of young RBI baseball and softball players an opportunity to participate in MLB All-Star Week. The tournament will be played from July 6th to July 9th on fields in Kansas City, Missouri, the host city of the 83rd MLB All-Star Game, and will feature two local leagues (KCK RBI – Kansas City, KS; Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City RBI – Kansas City, MO), including the Jr. RBI Classic’s first joint-city team (KCK RBI/BGC of Greater Kansas City RBI) and the first Canadian league in the tournament’s history (Toronto Blue Jays RBI – Toronto, Canada). 

“Each All-Star Week, the Jr. RBI Classic offers hundreds of young people in the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program an opportunity to interact and play with other kids from different parts of the United States and beyond,” said David James, Director, RBI program. “Participants will also learn about the game’s storied history at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, all the while growing as individuals from the lasting memories and new friendships they receive from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Following are the cities (and RBI leagues) represented in the 2012 Jr. RBI Classic:

Atlanta, Georgia (RBI Atlanta) – Softball

Chicago, Illinois (Union League Boys & Girls Club/Chicago Cubs RBI) – Baseball

Columbia, Tennessee (Boys & Girls Club of Maury County RBI) – Baseball

Hoboken, New Jersey (Hoboken RBI) – Softball

Kansas City, Kansas (KCK RBI) – Baseball and Softball

Kansas City, Missouri (Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City RBI) – Baseball and Softball

Long Beach, California (Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach RBI) – Baseball

New Orleans, Louisiana (Crescent City RBI) – Baseball

Seattle, Washington (Boys & Girls Club of King County/Seattle Mariners RBI) – Softball

Toronto, Canada (Toronto Blue Jays RBI) – Baseball

Tulsa, Oklahoma (World Baseball Outreach RBI) – Baseball

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 such as MLB All-Star FanFest, SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, the State Farm Home Run Derby and a visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. In a special homage to the Negro Leagues, players and coaches will adorn patches of Negro Leagues teams, including the Birmingham Black Barons, Chicago American Giants, Kansas City Monarchs, Newark Eagles and the New Orleans Black Pelicans. Jr. RBI Classic players will also get the chance to meet MLB All-Star players and celebrities.

The friendly round-robin tournament of 11-12 year olds in the Jr. RBI playing divisions from around the country and Canada will be held throughout Kansas City (Missouri) at Clark-Ketterman Athletic Complex (baseball), Cleveland Park (baseball and softball) and Rockhurst University (softball).  The Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies and ensuing skills clinic administered by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will be held at the newly-renovated Satchel Paige Stadium. The Jr. RBI playing divisions, established in 2010, 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 is a Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide 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 to underserved young people, ages 5 to 18, from underserved and urban communities. The RBI program is providing more than 200,000 boys and girls the opportunity to play baseball and softball in more than 300 programs 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: www.MLB.com/rbi.

About the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 10th in Kansas City 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 Kauffman Stadium. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on July 8th 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 9th featuring the State Farm 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 Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; the All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike, a charity run/walk on a baseball-themed route to benefit three cancer organizations; and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade of All-Stars through the streets of Kansas City, which will be broadcast on MLB Network. 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 2012 All-Star Summer, visit www.AllStarGame.com.