Each summer, hundreds of Baltimore youth have the chance to play baseball through the Orioles' Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. Starting this year, 150 more young athletes will enjoy this opportunity through the addition of a six-team Youth Division for boys ages 10-12 and a four-team Softball Division for girls ages 13-17. In total, 450 Baltimore City youth representing 26 different RBI teams in four divisions (Youth, Junior, Senior and Softball) will play games at fields arcross the city over the next several months. The RBI season will begin June 3 and run through August 10.
Along with the addition of new divisions, starting this season RBI will feature a "Game of the Week" each Friday hosted under the lights at Swann Park, providing players with a prime-time experience. Also for the first time in 2013, Orioles scout Dean Albany and representatives from the Orioles coaching staff and local universities will conduct a coaches' clinic for all RBI coaches.
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 a bat, 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 Regional Tournament held in Harrisburg, PA. In addition, the Orioles host a championship game for each division each year, giving the players a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play baseball on a Major League field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Winners of each division are presented trophies during a pre-game ceremony and an All-Star team is put together and given the opportunity to play at the Regional Tournament hosted by MLB.
The Orioles also provide additional unique experiences for RBI participants, including clinics featuring instruction from current and former players and hosting all participants to watch a game at Oriole Park and providing them with game tickets, bus transportation, concessions, hats and t-shirts. Over the last year RBI participants were also invited to be in the audience for major press conferences, attend a private screening of the movie "42" with ADAM JONES, participate in pre-game ceremonies, and participate in autograph sessions with players.
More information about the Orioles' RBI program is available at www.orioles.com/rbi.