Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Helps Youth Develop Skills Beyond Baseball

Members of the Los Angeles Urban Youth Academy team based out of Compton, California celebrate their 2009 junior division RBI World Series victory at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Since 1989, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities has worked to provide local programs for at-risk inner city youth for a positive organized team activity while also providing resources for inner city youth to achieve academic success and develop valuable life skills off the field.  Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities was initially founded by former Major League Baseball player and scout John Young in the city of Los Angeles, after he took notice of a troubling trend emerging in his own childhood neighborhood in South Los Angeles of an evident decrease in the number of skilled prospects that were arising from the area towards the end of the 1970s.

From its initial local scale efforts serving at-risk youth in inner city Los Angeles communities, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities has expanded its outreach efforts all across the United States and internationally.  In its 21 years of service to youth in underserved communities, the RBI program has helped to nurture the talent of hundreds of thousands of participants in the sport.  180 RBI program alumni have been drafted by Major League teams, including current Major League Baseball players C.C. Sabathia, Justin Upton, James Loney, Coco Crisp, Yovani Gallardo and Carl Crawford.  While not every participant in the RBI program will go on to have a professional career in baseball, RBI helps to lay the foundations of academic success to open doors for other career opportunities.

To encourage and support academic achievement, the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program provides academic resources for inner city youth including tutoring, classes for time management and goal setting, and college preparatory and SAT prep courses.  In addition KPMG and Major League Baseball Charities, Inc. joined forces to set up the RBI for RBI Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for selected RBI program participants who demonstrate outstanding leadership and academic success, and plan to pursue higher education.

Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is a not-for-profit outreach program of Major League Baseball Charities, and is supported by presenting sponsor KPMG, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Pitch In For Baseball, Showcase U, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.

NBA Leads by Example in Social Responsibility With NBA Cares Community Outreach Initiative

Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar signs an autograph for a boy at a free clinic hosted by the Lakers for underprivileged children in Washington, D.C.

Through networking with numerous community outreach organizations NBA Cares has made it possible for players, employees and even fans to become more directly involved in taking positive action in the well-being of a vast number of communities. 

A recent example of the community outreach efforts of NBA Cares took place on January 25, 2010, the morning the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers were set to make their White House visit to be congratulated by President Barack Obama.  In the midst of an eight-game road trip, the Los Angeles Lakers invited a class of 30 children from Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C.—of which 92.2 percent of the student population is classified as “Low-Income” as of 2006, according to a Washington Post report—for a clinic in which they were given the opportunity to take part in drills to learn basketball fundamentals from professional NBA players; and for a talk on the benefits and importance of building solid habits for maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle to one’s overall well-being and quality of life.

The community outreach efforts of NBA Cares are not limited to league players or employees.  NBA Cares also helps to provide its network of community outreach organizations with support by providing links to volunteer opportunities on its website through which you can become involved in taking positive action in your community.