It was announced today at a press conference at the Buck Melton Community Center that MACON RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) is launching in 2015 to offer local children, 5 to 18, from underserved areas the opportunity to play baseball and softball. The international RBI program, which has served approximately 2 million young people since its inception in 1989, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. United Way of Central Georgia and Boys & Girls Club of Central Georgia were instrumental in bringing this program to our community.
MACON RBI will start with four teams in the Jr. RBI baseball (ages 11-12) and two girls softball teams (ages 18 and under).
“The support of Major League Baseball and the RBI program have been outstanding,” said Jeff Battcher, MACON RBI League Administrator. The RBI program is providing uniforms, equipment and startup funds for our program, this will ensure that any young person that wants to play baseball or softball has that opportunity.”
“We are very pleased to see the launch of Macon RBI come to fruition,” said David James, Senior Director of the RBI program. “This new league is indicative of the trend we are seeing with the RBI programs, that of the rise of programs in the southern region of the country within communities one might consider more rural than urban. The children and families of Macon will be very happy with the local leadership in place, and we are all very excited to see how the program grows and thrives in the future.”
The RBI program has provided a path for many players to enter the college and professional game. More than 200 RBI participants have been drafted by MLB Clubs throughout the program’s 26-year history, and many others were given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been nearly 40 RBI players selected in the 2012-2014 MLB Drafts.
Since the inception of the RBI program in 1989, MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, and more than 70 players since 2008. Alumni on MLB rosters during the 2014 regular season included Michael Bourn (Cleveland Indians), Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers), Coco Crisp (Oakland Athletics), Yovani Gallardo (Texas Rangers), James Loney (Tampa Bay Rays), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Hector Santiago (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Tyler Skaggs (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Justin Upton (San Diego Padres) and Chris Young (New York Yankees).
RBI currently serves approximately 225,000 young men and women in over 300 programs established in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated nearly $40 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information about the RBI program visit MLB.com/rbi.
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Contact: Macon RBI - Jeff Battcher (404) 713-0274
Major League Baseball - Steve Arocho (212) 931-7581