MEMPHIS, Tennessee - The Memphis Redbirds Community Fund, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, has made a donation to Pitch In For Baseball to benefit Memphis Public Schools as part of MLB's biennial RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Institute held this week in Memphis.
The donation will provide $25,000 worth of baseball and softball equipment to help 460 students get on the field, benefitting 24 baseball and softball teams at 16 schools in the Memphis area.
"We are very proud to be able to make this donation to Memphis Public Schools through the Redbirds Community Fund," Redbirds President and General Manager Craig Unger said. "One of our main missions is to help better our community, and the Redbirds Community Fund is one of the leading vehicles for how we can use our position to do so. We look forward to being able to do more to benefit our community and the Mid-South as a whole."
The week culminated today with a free PLAY BALL event at AutoZone Park, where area children were able to play on the field and have fun learning skills and celebrating the love of the game. Event participants also received a PLAY BALL t-shirt and a bat and ball set to continue the play at home.
The RBI Institute covers topics such as league operations, players' health on and off the field (i.e., Pitch Smart, anti-bullying and drug-free lifestyles), educational programs, best practices, coaches training, league finances, equipment procurement and more.
The Redbirds have hosted an RBI site since 1998, where boys and girls ages 6 through 16 join with children from their own community to form teams which travel throughout the city to play each other. Memphis RBI began with six locations and has grown to serve 12 communities and over 1,000 participants.
The mission of the Memphis RBI program is to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth through instructional and competitive play, while encouraging youth to achieve academically, demonstrate good sportsmanship, and contribute positively to the community.
Pitch In For Baseball provides new and gently-used baseball and softball equipment to boys and girls in the United States and around the world who want to play ball but lack the equipment to do so. PIFB reduces barriers to play and promotes youth development by providing equipment directly to leagues, schools and organizations around the world to start, continue, and/or expand their programs. Over the past 10 years, PIFB has donated more than $5 million worth of equipment to 500,000 under-resourced kids in nearly every state and 80 different countries.
For more information on Pitch In For Baseball, visit www.pifb.org.
Schools Receiving Equipment
American Way Middle School (Baseball)
American Way Middle School (Softball)
Bellevue Middle School (Baseball)
Colonial Middle School (Baseball)
Colonial Middle School (Softball)
Grandview Heights Middle School (Baseball)
Hamilton Middle School (Baseball)
Hamilton Middle School (Softball)
Havenview Middle School (Baseball)
Havenview Middle School (Softball)
Hickory Ridge Middle School (Baseball)
Hickory Ridge Middle School (Softball)
Highland Oaks Middle School (Baseball)
Kate Bond Middle School (Softball)
Kingsbury Middle School (Softball)
Kirby Middle School (Baseball)
Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School (Baseball)
Memphis Scholars Raleigh-Egypt Middle School (Baseball)
Memphis Scholars Raleigh-Egypt Middle School (Softball)
Oakhaven Middle School (Baseball)
Oakhaven Middle School (Softball)
Raleigh-Egypt High School (Softball)
Raleigh-Egypt Middle/High School (Baseball)
Riverview Middle School (Baseball)
About the Redbirds Community Fund
The Redbirds Community Fund benefits area youth organizations by offering outreach programs, providing baseball instruction, giving opportunities for children to attend professional baseball games and to interact with professional players and personnel, providing and refurbishing area facilities for youth activities, and providing financial support to many worthy area Section 501(c)(3) organizations that effectively and efficiently serve the needs of children in the community.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.