Tha Sports Junkies 101

Teams announced for First RBI World Series

RBI World Series RedLegfan21/ via Flickr


Today Major League Baseball has announced the 24 participating teams for the 2016 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities World Series, which will be hosted by the Cincinnati Reds for the first time in the 24 year history of the tournament. The 2016 RBI World Series will feature teams of young men and women from 19 cities around the United States of America and the Dominican Republic all involved with RBI program. 

The event will run from August 3-16, including games, work outs, banquets, community service events and other opportunities for the young men and woman participating. The RBI World Series International championship tournament of the RBI program, the MLB youth initiative was designed to provide younger people in undeserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play and promote baseball while giving back to the community. 

The games will be played through out Cincinnati at several different locations, the baseball games will be held at Xavier University, The Great American Ballpark (Home of the Reds), P&G MLB Youth Academy, all teams will be able to play one game at The Great American Ballpark. The championship baseball games will be played at P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy. The venues for the softball portion of the tournament differ, as games will be held at Mason High School and P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy. The softball championship will be played at Miami University (OH) Softball Complex. The Senior Division Baseball and Softball Championship games will be streaming LIVE on, with analyst Daron Sutton calling play by play for both games. Daron will be joined by former MLB players Dmitri Young and Marlon Anderson for analysis for the baseball championship, while former NCAA women’s softball champion Destinee Martinez will provided analysis for the softball championship.

MLB and the RBI program will honor RBI founder John Young by having all players of the RBI World Series wear a “JY” patch on their uniforms. Young who had founded the program in  South Central Los Angeles in 1989, passed away back in May of this year. 

The following is a complete list of cities (and leagues) who will be represented in this year’s RBI World Series

Junior Baseball Teams (Ages 13-15)

  • Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Metro RBI)
  • Baltimore, MD (Baltimore Orioles RBI)
  • Chicago, IL (Chicago White Sox RBI)
  • Detroit, MI (Detroit PAL RBI)
  • Hilo, HI (Nobu Yamauchi RBI)
  • Houston, TX (Houston Astros RBI)
  • Pawtucket, RI (Boys and Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI)
  • Santiago, DR (Dominican Republic North RBI)

Senior Baseball Teams (Ages 16-18)

  • Chattanooga, TN (Chattanooga RBI)
  • Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati Reds RBI)
  • Harrisburg, PA (Harrisburg RBI)
  • Houston, TX (Houston Astros RBI)
  • Milwaukee, WI ( Milwaukee Brewers/ Greater Milwaukee BGC RBI)
  • Passaic, NJ (Passaic RBI)
  • Phoenix, AZ (Arizona RBI)
  • Santo Domingo, DR (Dominican Republic South RBI)

Softball Teams (Ages 19 and Under)

  • Anaheim, CA (Angels RBI)
  • Atlanta, GA (Brown Mills RBI)
  • Cleveland, OH (Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI)
  • Harrisburg, PA (Harrisburg RBI)
  • Hoboken, NJ (Hoboken RBI)
  • Houston, TX (Houston Astros RBI)
  • St. Louis, MO (Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club RBI)
  • Santo Domingo, DR (Dominican Republic RBI)

In order to qualify for a spot in this year’s RBI World Series, teams from 25 states, Washington, D.C. Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela competed in RBI Regional Tournaments.


Tournament Notes

  • Baltimore, Chattanooga, Milwaukee, and Passaic, New Jersey have qualified for first time in RBI World Series History
  • Eight teams in the Championship tournament represent RBI program’s run by MLB Teams
  • Seven MLB cities which have hosted previous RBI World series are represented in the 2016 tournament
  • Anaheim is making its eighth appearance and first in softball since 2007
  • The two teams from Atlanta represent the 33rd and 34th appearance for the city, which is fourth most in tournament history, also first baseball berth since 2012 and their softball team has clinched a berth five out of the last six years
  • The Junior Division team from Chicago represents the 30th appearance for the city, sixth most in RBI World Series history, Chicago has had a team in the Junior Division for 12 of the last 15 years
  • Cincinnati is making second consecutive appearance in the Senior Division and fifth overall, first time a host city’s team has qualified since 2008 
  • Cleveland is the defending softball champion and is making its 22nd appearance, 12 have been softball
  • Detroit has had at least one team every year since 2003, this year marks the 26th overall appearance for the city, it is also making its sixth consecutive appearance in the Junior Division and 12th in 13 years
  • Harrisburg has qualified for the sixth consecutive year in softball, and its senior division baseball team has qualified for the fifth time in six years
  • Hilo the junior division team is making the city’s first baseball appearance since 2003 and second overall
  • Houston has a team in each division for the eighth time, and the second most ever for any city (Los Angeles leads with 11 times) also now has 41 teams qualify ranking second in tournament history
  • Pawtucket is making its third appearance in four years and 13th overall
  • Phoenix Senior Division is making second straight appearance and third in last five years
  • St. Louis hosted the first RBI World Series in 1993, making its 15th overall appearance and has represented in the softball division for five of last six tournaments
  • Dominican Republic making 12th consecutive appearance in the Junior division, 6th in Softball, and first in Senior since 2013, has 31 overall appearances 

The baseball side of the tournament will kick off August 2nd with an Opening Picnic at P&G Cincinnati MLB Youth Academy, with games beginning on the 4th. August 3rd will provide the young men with their opportunity to perform in the annual MLB Scouting Bureau “Workout Day” where they will showcase their skills in front of both professional scouts and collegiate recruiters. The softball Workout Day is open for college coaches to attend will take place on August 12th with games taking place the same day. All teams will participate in a community service event with Feed the Children on their workout days. All RBI world Series pitchers will operate under Pitch Smart pitch count limits. All players will also be able to attend a Reds game, and participate in an essay contested administered by Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson (The First player to break the Color barrier in the MLB) on the subject of “Breaking Barriers; In Sports and Life”. Also at the Banquet dinners 12 recipients for “RBI for RBI” Scholarships in the amount of $20,000 per student athlete. In 2008 MLB established the “RBI for RBI” scholarship fund, a program to help support deserving high school seniors who participate in an RBI program league with financial support in the form of scholarships ($5,000 annually for 4 years)

The RBI World Series has provided a path to the MLB for many players, as more than 200 players have been drafted. 65 players selected in the MLB Drafts from 2013-2016 have played in RBI leagues.

Current RBI Alumni on MLB Rosters

Michael Bourn, Carl Crawford (Currently Free Agent, Started with Dodgers), Coco Crisp, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Iannetta, James Loney, Anthony Rendon, CC Sabathia, Hector Santagio, Steven Souza, Jr. Justin Upton and Chirs Young

The RBI program has helped approximately 2 million young people since its inception, is administered by Major League Baseball. The goals of the program are to provide youth of under-served and diverse communities with the opportunity to play baseball and softball while promoting academic success, while also teaching teamwork and other life lessons. The RBI program currently helps around 230,000 young men and women in 300 established RBI programs in approximately 200 cities world wide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $40 million worth of resources to the program and all 30 major league clubs support RBI leagues.