The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) announced recently its third consecutive season of Dodgers RBI. LADF will expand programming to serve more than 6,000 players at 35 locations including Compton, South Los Angeles and Venice. Three Dodgers RBI sites will launch in Inglewood. Additionally, with the support of Nike, Dodgers RBI will also launch in East Los Angeles.
Returning partners include the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation South Agency, Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice and MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton. New partners include the City of Inglewood Department of Parks, Recreation and Library Services, County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation East Agency, Hollywood Indies Little League and the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club.
“Dodgers RBI seeks to promote greater inclusion of under-resourced youth, increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, stress healthy habits and wellness and focus on fun, teamwork and fair play,” said Nichol Whiteman, executive director, LADF. “We have increased youth participation in our league by 2,000 participants, well on our way to reaching 10,000 participants in the neighborhoods we serve.”
LADF provides full uniforms and equipment to all players. Throughout the season program elements consist of baseball and softball clinics, education and health resources, recruitment and marketing assistance, community service activities, incentives and giveaways and various special events.
Participating players are eligible for regional tournaments and compete for a chance to play in the MLB RBI World Series which will be held in Cincinnati this year. All partners received cash grants totaling $150,000 to assist with umpires and field maintenance costs.
Dodger alumni will make special appearances throughout the season at Dodger Days, five regional events presented by ARCO that offer players and their families an opportunity to experience the Dodgers in their community. These fun-filled events begin with an hour-long youth baseball and softball clinic, followed by carnival-style activities to include the Dodgerpitching inflatable, alumni autograph signings and a visit from the Dodger character.
Vision to Learn will be on-hand to conduct free eye screenings and Read Conmigo will distribute bilingual reading books to players and their families.
Throughout the season, players will participate in an online literacy challenge that will focus on tracking students’ reading and reward readers with game tickets and in-game recognition; Bank of America Better Money Habits seminars; college access tours for participants ages 13-18 at the University of Southern California; and Coaching Simplified and Positive Coaches Alliance will conduct mandatory coaches’ trainings sponsored by the LA84 Foundation.
In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and iHeartRadio, LADF will conduct a Dodgers RBI Recycling Challenge, encouraging players to recycle for rewards.
“Bank of America has an extensive partnership with the Dodgers, and is a proud gold sponsor of Dodgers RBI,” said Raul A. Anaya, Bank of America market president for greater Los Angeles.
“Through Dodgers RBI, we have connected hundreds of Bank of America employees to helping kids and parents develop better money habits. We’re excited about our continued partnership with the Dodgers Foundation to promote academic achievement, healthy living, and to prepare kids and their families with the basic knowledge to help improve their financial lives and well-being.”
Dodgers RBI is part of MLB’s overall Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. MLB’s RBI has served approximately two million young people since its inception, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.
RBI currently serves approximately 230,000 young men and women in over 300 programs established in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information on MLB RBI, please visit www.MLB.com/RBI.