In its third year in Chattanooga, Major League Baseball and the City of Chattanooga have teamed up to provide hundreds of youth the opportunity to learn not only the game of baseball, but numerous core values to strengthen one’s self, all at no cost to participants.
According to Major League Baseball, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is designed to:
· Increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth
· Encourage participation and achievement
· Promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game
· Teach the value of teamwork
More than 700 boys will kick start the summer baseball season on Saturday, at East Lake Community Center.
Following a brief ceremony. 27 teams, many from local Chattanooga Community Centers, will line the fields along with 50 volunteer coaches and partners, including the Engel Foundation, The Chattanooga Lookouts, Brewer Media. The first games of the season will take place followed by games played weekly at Warner Park.
Chattanooga’s RBI league operates from May to August and will provide divisions of local league play for participants ages six to 12. Tournament play for these divisions typically begins in late July with Regional qualifying tournaments for advancement to the RBI World Series in early August in New York City. Participants in the past have traveled to Phoenix and St. Louis.
RBI programs exist in more than 200 cities worldwide, and annually provide more than 200,000 boys and girls the opportunity to play baseball and softball. Local girls RBI softball will begin later in June.