Friendly Tournament During MLB All-Star Week Features BASE Play RBI Softball Team
El Paso Border Youth Athletic Association’s BASE Play RBI will be one of twelve youth organizations and one of four softball teams in the U.S., to participate in the ninth annual ‘All-Star Youth Classic,’ a friendly tournament hosted against the backdrop of MLB All-Star Week in Miami, Florida. The All-Star Youth Classic will feature approximately 140 young baseball and softball players, aged 11-12, participating in games and attending MLB All-Star Week events. This year’s All-Star Youth Classic will run from Friday, July 7th through Monday, July 10th in Miami, the host city of the 88th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
BASE Play RBI is an afterschool program serving economically distressed communities in El Paso County since 2014. Last year the program became affiliated with MLB’s Youth Program, RBI. The RBI program is designed to increase participation in baseball and softball in underserved communities and promote greater inclusion of minorities in the sport. In April of this year, BASE Play RBI was visited by David James, the Vice President of Youth Programs for MLB, “Our focus is to make sure we come into communities that are looking for resources in order for kids to play,” James said while watching a group of fifth-graders practice at Montana Vista Elementary. The MLB Youth Program’s interest in BASE Play RBI led to its inclusion in the All-Star Youth Classic. The following are the cities (and national youth leagues) playing in the 2017 All-Star Youth Classic:
Lajas, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico RBI)– Softball
El Paso, Texas (BASE Play RBI)– Softball
Jersey City, New Jersey (Roberto Clemente RBI)– Softball
Miami, Florida (Miami Marlins RBI)– Softball
Evansville, Indiana (Mattingly CharitiesRBI)-Baseball
Columbia, South Carolina (Columbia RBI)– Baseball
Flint, Michigan (Jackson Park RBI)– Baseball
Hawthorne, California (Holly Park Little League)– Baseball
Miami, Florida (Miami Marlins RBI)– Baseball
Oxford, Alabama (Oxford Dixie Youth Baseball)– Baseball
Stamford, Connecticut (Stamford Sluggers)– Girls Baseball
Tampa, Florida (Wellswood Sports Association PONY)– Baseball
Twelve 6th grade girls from low-income communities in Horizon City, Montana Vista, and Clint will form the ASYC team. “The invitation by Major League Baseball is a gratifying affirmation of the hard work being done by BASE Play RBI and its parent organization, El Paso Border Youth Athletic Association. This opportunity is such a positive demonstration of their commitment to EPBYAA and the El Paso area,” said Dwayne Aboud, M.D., founder and president of EPBYAA’s board of directors, “We are thrilled.” In addition to the games, the team will have the opportunity to attend All-Star Week events. These include MLB All-Star FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center, All-Star Sunday including the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park, and various PLAY BALL-related events. Additionally, participants will be exposed to a variety of off-field life experiences, including rooming on campus at the University of Miami and a community service activity.
“We are looking forward to hosting these young men and women for the All-Star Youth Classic and All-Star Week festivities, ” said Tony Reagins, Senior Vice President of Youth Programs, Major League Baseball. “Providing opportunities for them to highlight their skills on the field is important, but we believe it is just as meaningful to give them a chance to build lifelong friendships and memories through this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The 88th Midsummer Classic is on Tuesday, July 11th will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and worldwide partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.