The Phillies RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program began in 1993 as a part of Major League Baseball's international RBI campaign, which today encompasses more than 200 cities and as many as 120,000 male and female participants a year.
The RBI Leagues focus on instruction and also have a competitive nature. Participants have the opportunity to capitalize on their learned skills during true game situations. Though RBI was open to boys and girls, both were playing baseball. Softball was folded into the RBI program in 1995. The integration of softball has helped the number of teenagers participating in Phillies RBI Leagues in the area grow to over 2,000 participants in over 20 locations.
In addition to the traditional RBI Leagues, the program supports three All-star teams - a Junior (13-15 years) and Senior (16-18 years) boys baseball team and a girls softball team (15-18 years). These teams travel and compete in MLB sponsored local and regional RBI competitions for the opportunity to play in the RBI World Series held each year in August.
The RBI Leagues are sponsored by Turkey Hill.
For the past six years, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been the Jr. RBI and RBI League Chairman.
Chase loves working with the children and has met with members of the Jr. RBI and RBI Leagues on several occasions to give baseball tips, answer questions, sign autographs and help hand out gloves to those in need.
Each year participants of the RBI Leagues have the opportunity to participate in various special events.
During the weekend of February 11, 2012, the Phillies hosted a RBI IMPACT clinic designed to educate our young RBI players on the five tools of baseball -running for speed, arm strength, hitting for average, hitting for power and fielding. The nearly 60 players participating in the RBI IMPACT clinic left with a greater knowledge of the tools and drills on how to improve their game in all the areas.
Former Phillies pitcher Dickie Noles gave pointers to 13-15 year-old baseball players interested in learning or fine tuning their pitching skills. He also spoke to the RBI All-Star softball team.
On August 10 members of the Phillies Jr. RBI and RBI Leagues were invited to Citizens Bank Park to take part in the PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) a public awareness campaign developed by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in 2004 to combat child obesity. Through a series of fitness programs at all 30 MLB ballparks, PLAY was designed to encourage youth throughout the country to be active, eat right and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Phillies Head Trainer Scott Sheridan and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Dong Lien taught participants how to stretch and warm-up their bodies and ran them through a number of exercise used by the Phillies players. Brad Lidge took time to speak to the participants about the importance of exercise and eating properly and shared with them his work with the Food Trust which helps to bring healthy food options to local schools and corner stores throughout Philadelphia.
The Phillies hosted their 7th Annual RBI Coaching Clinic at Martin Luther King Recreation Center on Wednesday, March 2. Over forty coaches from all over the Philadelphia region participated in an interactive clinic to help enhance their coaching knowledge. The clinic was instructed by coaches and players of LaSalle College High School and covered the fundamental drills of hitting, fielding, pitching and base running. This clinic allowed RBI coaches to participate in various drills to help them fully understand the reasoning behind each exercise. The hope is to have these coaches instruct the drills to their local teams to help increase the performance of their RBI players. RBI/Rookie Coaching Clinic photo gallery
The Phillies annually host an umpire clinic for coaches and volunteers. During the clinic, coaches from various Jr. RBI and RBI Leagues learn how to call a game. Instructors explain the different hand gestures that signal different calls, such as a strike. They also discuss the proper field position an umpire should be in to call a play at a base.
Some lucky members of the Phillies Rookie and RBI program in West Philadelphia were treated to a baseball clinic run by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
Each year the Phillies provide tickets to the RBI players, many who have never attended a professional baseball game, and coaches to come out and cheer on the home team.
The Phillies appreciate the contributions of each league leader and coach who throughout the baseball season work hard to give the children in their leagues the opportunity to play ball. In recognition of their efforts, the Phillies invite league leaders to a Phillies game and a special Rooftop party filled with food. In addition, Phillies RBI League sponsor Turkey Hill Dairy contributes $100 per Phillies win and five cents per carton of Phillies Graham Slam Ice Cream sold to the RBI Leagues. Members of the RBI League help us say thank you with a special on field presentation.
A select baseball team made up of members from different teams in the Phillies Junior RBI intercity league travelled to Reading, PA for a game against an All-Star team from the Boys & Girls Club of Reading. The Philadelphia team travelled by bus and played their game in the home of the Reading Phillies.
Out of the RBI Leagues, three All-Star teams - a Junior (13-15) and Senior (16-18) Baseball team and a Softball team are selected to compete in MLB's RBI tournaments.
If you are interested in learning more about the Phillies RBI Leagues or to see if your organization qualifies, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215.463.1000.