From left to right, front row: Raoul Fabian, Malik Davis, Dieckrimar Orta, Roberto Leyva; 2nd row: Rodney Robinson, Jamir Gibson, DaShawn Rogers, David Briseno, Jecary Middleton; 3rd row: Miekai Finnie, Amir Ealy; 4th row: Coach Vincent Ealy, Program Director Mr. Louie Butler, Coach Will Davis. Photo by YSN.
The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program in Oakland, partnered with the Oakland Boys & Girls Club, and Youth Sports Nation (YSN), helped more than 40 youth and parents participate in a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada in December for the National Baseball Tournament.
Even though very few minority teams participate in youth baseball programs, Oakland’s determined group of players won first place in the 10-and-under age group in the World Series baseball tournament.
The Oakland team established a good record this season by winning 5 out of 6 tournaments.
“The continued support of the Oakland RBI program allows parents to give more focus to the players, and the players are able to focus on nurturing their hidden talents in the game of baseball,” said team mom Veronica James.
In a national effort to increase the number of inner city youth participating in the sport, the RBI program was founded in 1989 by the Major League Baseball initiative in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.
The Oakland RBI chapter serves over 400 youth through the leadership of program Director Louie Butler and Calvester R. Stanley, president of the Oakland Boys & Girls Club.
Youth Sports Nation promotes positive images to youth through inspirational music and a prestigious group of sports icons: Joe Morgan, Bill Russell, Vida Blue, Fred Biletnikoff, Raymond Chester and Mike Norris.
Working together, they promote education, role models and community.
“Through the dedication of life coach Will Davis, assistant coaches, parents and community support, the team hopes to continue competing at a high level and using youth sports as a positive outlet,” said Terry T. Butler, founder of Youth Sports Nation and co-sponsor of the trip.