Category Archives: RBI News

Partner Highlight: Austin Parks Foundation

Partner Highlight: Austin Parks Foundation

There’s no denying it, Austinites love their parks.

We love these parks, too, as many of them serve as a home base for our teams.

This is where our kids are learning the game, learning how to be a part of a team, learning what it looks like to be carefree kid, and where they are learning more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

With 1,491 kids on 92 teams, our organization uses 45 public and private fields throughout the city. 45 fields, folks!! This would absolutely be impossible without faithful partnerships and supporters!

PARQUE ZARAGOZA + AUSTIN PARKS FOUNDATION

Parque Zaragoza is located in the heart of East Austin, and this park has served as the heart of its community for decades. So, what a blessing it was to play a role alongside other community partners to restore this field!

Last year, we received a generous $50,000 grant from our partners at the Austin Parks Foundation for field improvements at Parque Zaragoza. With this grant, we were able to breathe a little life back into this field including the installation of a new batting cage and new safety netting.

Parque Zaragoza now serves as a home base for our 18U and 15U high school leagues, and it’s been an encouragement to see these young men and women be able to use such quality amenities. Talk about being proud of your neighborhood, your team, and your organization!

Austin Parks Foundation is proud to partner with RBI Austin to bring critical physical improvements and free programming to public ball fields across Austin’s eastern crescent. We’re proud to support RBI Austin and we’re excited to help make quality recreation accessible to more of Austin’s youth.

Colin Wallis, CEO of Austin Parks Foundation.

Because of your support, and support through partner organizations like Austin Parks Foundation, more kids in our city are able to play with pride!

Movie in the Park, Sandlot-style

RBI Austin summer volunteers and staff fiercely took on the Texas Playboys Baseball Club in a sandlot-style game before the on-field viewing of Angels in the Outfield at Parque Zaragoza!

Through our partnership with Austin Parks Foundation, we hosted a Movie in the Park night at Parque Zaragoza via Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow. 

This was such an incredible, fun night for our RBI Austin families, volunteers, supporters, and the community at large as everyone enjoyed watching a sandlot-style game of baseball before getting to see an on-field viewing of Angels in the Outfield.

Talk about the perfect, summer night!

RBI Austin families, friends, and community members grabbed their lawn chairs and blankets and enjoyed an outdoor screening of Angels in the Outfield during last month’s Movie in the Park!

About APF: Austin Parks Foundation (APF) is dedicated to partnering with our community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails, and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy, and financial support. A non-profit established in 1992, APF fills the city’s funding and resource gap in order to develop, maintain, and enhance the area’s 300+ parks, trails, and green spaces. APF fosters innovative public/private partnerships and since 2006, has given over $3 million in community-initiated grants in service to the greater Austin community. APF is known for its annual flagship volunteer event, It’s My Park Day, and is a presenting partner and beneficiary of the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Metropolitan Park. For more information, please visit www.austinparks.org

Registration Open: 2019 RBI Austin High School Summer Leagues

REGISTRATION OPEN

RBI Austin Baseball + Softball High School Summer Leagues

As High School baseball and softball seasons are starting to get into full swing, RBI Austin is officially opening registration for our RBI Baseball and Softball High School Summer Leagues (Ages 13-18)!

REGISTER TODAY

Players will get the opportunity to play local competitive games around the city of Austin.  Teams will have 1 practice and 1 game night (doubleheader) per week.

The fee to play for the summer is $60 for players who attend an RBI School and $200 for those who do NOT attend one of the RBI Schools.

If you have any additional questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out me (Michael.galvan@rbiaustin.org).


2019 RBI Baseball + Softball High School Summer League Details

  • What: RBI Baseball Summer League (15U & 18U) and RBI Softball Summer League (15U & 18U)
  • Who: Players ages 13 – 18 (age as of April 30th). Please note that registration for Jr. RBI (ages 4-12) will open in April.
  • Where: Fields throughout Austin
  • When: May 13th – July 21st – Two (2) nights a week including: one team practice and one weeknight doubleheader
  • Player Fee: $60 per player (from RBI schools)* Cost for players from other schools is $200. To apply for financial assistance, complete the financial assistance application here.
  • How: Click here to register.

We look forward to another great RBI Season this summer and can’t wait to see you at the ballpark!

The first kid to call me “coach”

He was the first kid who called me “coach” when I stepped on to the field to serve with RBI Austin.

Meet Harold and Ian — These two kicked off their new mentoring relationship in September, after spending a summer together on the Coach Pitch Marlins. 

Harold shares a little bit about Ian, his mentee, and why he chose to become an RBI Austin Next Level Coach. 

Ian is really passionate. He is all over it in celebrating when our team does something good. 

Similarly, when he makes a mistake, he is really hard on himself. 

I thought that committing to being a Next Level Coach and stay in his life beyond the summer season was something that would provide consistency for Ian. And over time, I may be able to help him develop a little more composure and how to navigate his feelings as he grows. 

Whether it develops into a baseball career or something completely different, I hope that in our interactions he develops in his character — some composure and how to handle his emotions and feelings. 

Hopefully from our interactions and relationships, he will get a clearer perspective on how to handle those moments and feelings. And in those moments, pointing back to “what would Jesus do…” 

I hope he has that kind of a response to things.

Turning challenging things into learning opportunities.

Hopefully in our interactions, I am a role model to him and set an example for him. And that in turn helps him be more successful in whatever he ends up pursuing — on or off the field. 

As our baseball and softball program have been growing, we want to increase opportunities for coaches and players to build deep, consistent relationships even when the summer is over. 

One opportunity is through our new initiative Next Level Coaching — where a coach commits to walking alongside one of their players for the next 12 months. 

Relationships Over Programs: Why in the World (Series)?!

Relationships Over Programs:
Why in the World (Series)?!

After spraining his ankle three days before the RBI Southwest Regional, Oscar Zamorano feared that his spot on the RBI Austin 18U Regional team was in jeopardy.

If he wasn’t on the regional roster and RBI Austin advanced, he’d be ineligible for the MLB RBI World Series.

Oscar had been loyal to the team all summer long, faithfully showing up to practices and games on time, and always supporting his teammates.

Instead of replacing Oscar with someone who could compete that weekend, the coaches decided to keep Oscar on the roster.

Why in the world would they do that during such a competitive tournament?

After not having pitched in almost three weeks, Oscar threw 3 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball before giving way to a reliever during RBI Austin’s first game at the RBI World Series against Arizona RBI. 


Oscar, a first-generation American citizen from Del Valle, is intelligent, hardworking, and a little on the quiet side. 

Sometimes feeling caught in between two worlds — his family speaks Spanish at home, while Oscar speaks English everywhere else.

Oscar’s family did not have the resources to afford an expensive, high-level select baseball program, but after being discovered in RBI’s summer league in 2017, he was chosen to participate in RBI’s Fall Player Development Academy.

This following spring in his senior season, Oscar was named a 1st-Team All-District Pitcher.

He was then chosen to represent RBI Austin in the RBI Southwest Regional, where he would compete against Houston Astros RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and New Orleans RBI.

Over the course of the summer, Oscar established himself as one of the top pitchers on the RBI Austin regional team and even received his first offer to play at a junior college!

Since both of Oscar’s parents work Monday to Friday and were sometimes unable to get off work, RBI Austin Coach Mark Price would pick him up in Del Valle, and together they’d drive to the team’s pre-regional warmup tournaments in Waco and San Antonio.

“At first I thought Oscar was just a quieter kid, which in some ways he is, but as the miles wore on, I learned about Oscar’s bicultural daily life and how that impacts his demeanor and relationships.

We also talked about the generational differences in country music (Del Valle is out in the country…) and how two-stepping is a fun, natural way to strike up a conversation with a girl,” shared Coach Mark.

Coach Mark meets with the umpires and Arizona RBI coach before the first World Series game at Target Field. 


You don’t get these kind of opportunities to know someone — to be let into someone’s life — by caring first and foremost about a baseball program or about winning a game. 

Conversations about pitching techniques and batting stances are helpful on the field, but they alone don’t produce trust, rapport, or depth in a relationship.

These opportunities come in the unplanned, out-of-the-way drives up and down I-35, in the airplane rides to Minnesota, in the extra spaces when coaches go out of their way to spend time with their players and to ask them questions.

In the conversations about two-stepping, financial burdens, cultural disparity, country music, language barriers, insecurities, and dating — this is where trust is built, where relationships are made, where rapport is established, and where young men get to look up to older men for advice, wisdom, and guidance. 

In choosing to invest in a player beyond just what he can produce for your team, in caring about the character of a young man — this is where kids are engaged and developed into game-changers in their community.

Because of Coach Mark, Oscar was shown that perseverance, dedication, selflessness, teamwork, and sacrifice are an imperative complement to skill, strength, and technique. 

2019 Now at Bat Host Committee

BIG NEWS!

We have some stellar individuals joining RBI Austin’s
Now at Bat Host Committee!

We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Now at Bat Host Committee!

These men and women are champions of RBI Austin’s 1,312 kids and expectant to see our youth lead the transformation of their communities!

They believe in our kids, our organization, and our mission, and are playing a vital role in ensuring RBI Austin’s continued success through Now at Bat.

View 2019 Now at Bat Details

Have any questions about Now at Bat?! Want to get involved in this year’s event? Interested in sponsorship opportunitiesContact Amanda Terry at amanda.terry@rbiaustin.org or (512) 537-7105.

This is one of our favorite nights of the year, and we’d love for you to be a part of it. 

View 2019 Now at Bat Sponsorship Opportunities

 

We hope to see you on January 24, 2019 at the JW Marriott!

Austin’s MLB Reviving Baseball In Inner-Cities 18U Team Wins Bid to RBI World Series in Minneapolis

Austin’s MLB Reviving Baseball In Inner-Cities 18U Team Wins Bid to RBI World Series in Minneapolis

Baseball is very much alive in Austin, Texas.

This past weekend, Austin’s MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities affiliate — RBI Austin — hosted the MLB RBI Southwest Regional where teams from four organizations — Houston Astros RBI, New Orleans RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and RBI Austin — competed for the opportunity to advance to the 2018 RBI World Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Regional included three divisions: 15U Baseball, 18U Baseball, and 18U Softball.

RBI Southwest Regional Champions

RBI Austin’s 18U Regional team defeated Houston Astros RBI 4-0 on Sunday, July 29th at Dell Diamond to win the tournament.  After securing three wins in the previous games over the weekend, the Austin boys pulled off this final victory to land them an all-expenses-paid trip to Minnesota to compete against other RBI teams from around the United States as well as Uganda, Curacao, and Puerto Rico.

Eric Worden (McCallum High School ‘18) pitched a complete game shutout on Sunday, leading RBI Austin to its 4-0 Regional championship game victory. Outfielder Harrison Lee (LBJ/LASA High School ‘18) competed at the plate throughout the weekend with three triples. First baseman Aidan Martinez (Hays High School ‘19) set the tone in the first game of the Regional with a walk-off single in extra innings over Houston.

Prior to RBI Austin defeating Houston on Sunday to earn its first 18U RBI Regional championship in program history, Houston had won the 18U RBI Southwest Regional championship in 10 of the past 11 years. Houston Astros RBI alumni include MLB players Anthony Rendon, Chris Young, Carl Crawford, and James Loney.

MLB RBI Regionals + World Series

Over the past several weeks, more than 110 RBI baseball and softball teams competed in Regional tournaments across seven U.S. regions and one World region.

The 26th annual RBI World Series will be hosted by the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 5-10 and includes tournament games, workout days, banquets, community service events and more. During this five day competition, the RBI Austin team will participate in a showcase where they can further demonstrate their skills.

The MLB RBI program is designed to promote the games of baseball and softball to young men and women in underserved and diverse communities where, often times, sports programs and initiatives are lacking or unobtainable.

MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants throughout the program’s 30-year history, and many others have been given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. RBI currently serves young men and women in over 300 programs in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $40 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues (https://www.mlb.com/news/more-than-110-baseball-softball-teams-in-to-compete-in-rbi-regional-tournaments/c-286514254).

Sweet Glimpses of Transformation

Sweet Glimpses of Transformation

Whether you see it or not, your time as a volunteer is making an impact on the kids you serve.

They are watching you.

They are learning from you. 

Coach Sharon Thomas and her husband Kentrell have been leading their RBI Austin softball girls for the past 4 years with an intentional focus on developing both strong softball players and strong, Christian women. 

Their steadfastness is impacting the young women on their 16U Softball Dodgers team. 

The team’s three leaders — their captain, assistant captain, and team chaplain — are volunteering as umpires this summer for our Jr. RBI Softball divisions.

Coach Sharon shared about one experience of witnessing her girls developing into strong women. 

“One Saturday, I walked up to the game they were umpiring, and there they were huddled on the field praying together — just the three of them.”

“This is what we are helping them to learn. We do this as a team before our own games, and to see them doing this together on their own was really special.”

Sometimes the Lord is sweet and He shows us glimpses of transformation in one short summer. 

Sometimes He is sweet and gives us those glimpses after several years of being faithful to the relationships He’s put in front of us. 

Sometimes the Lord is just as sweet, and we never see the impact that our time, efforts, or prayers have in the lives of those we’ve cared for and invested in. 

Please know that whether you’ve seen it or not, your faithfulness as a volunteer is impacting future generations of inner-city Austin youth. 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Have you been running around all summer? Slow down, throw on your ball cap, grab some concession stand food, enjoy America’s favorite pastime, and see your impact in action at the ballpark! Attend one of our upcoming events. We’d love to see you there!

MLB RBI Southwest Regional Tournament

Cheer on our 15U + 18U RBI Austin Regional teams as they compete against RBI programs from across the southwest region — New Orleans RBI, Rangers RBI, and Astros RBI!

MLB RBI Southwest Regional Tournament: Featured Pool Play
July 28th at Concordia University
11400 Concordia University Drive, Austin, TX 78726

MLB RBI Southwest Regional Tournament: 15U + 18U Baseball Championship Games
July 29th at Dell Diamond (8:30am and 11am games)
3400 East Palm Valley, Round Rock, TX 78665

View the full regional schedule.

Triple-A for a Day

The Round Rock Express brings their big league environment and gameday crew to our Jr. RBI playoff games! Join us as we celebrate the end of the season together!

Jr. RBI Playoff Games with the Round Rock Express
August 4th at North Austin Optimist (5pm and 7:30pm games)
1105 Morrow Street, Austin, TX 78757

Alumni Return to Serve as Summer Staff

Alumni Return to Serve as Summer Staff

Every summer, RBI Austin brings on 4-6 summer interns to help put on our summer leagues. With the number of RBI Austin kids more than tripling over the past 5 years, we literally wouldn’t be able to function without these young men and women. 

We reserve at least two of these positions for RBI Austin alumni to intentionally continue in our mission of engaging and developing inner-city Austin youth athletically, academically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.

Young men who once played in our programs are returning to help lead those same programs!

Meet Arhian Albis, one of our 2018 summer interns. Arhian is a 2017 graduate of Lanier High School and played with RBI Austin for the past four years. He even had the chance to go to the RBI World Series as a player in 2014. Arhian says that his teammates and mentors through RBI taught him that there are many similarities between baseball and life. 

“Through RBI Austin, I’ve learned qualities that make a good man including commitment, motivation, hard work, and being kind to everyone. My RBI Austin teammates and coaches shaped who I am today and taught me lessons I’ll use for the rest of my life.”

Arhian now mentors others younger than him. Moving beyond the field, Arhian just finished his freshman year at the University of Texas as a biology major. He plans to become an orthopedic surgeon. This summer Arhian is interning for RBI Austin as a way to pay it forward for all that RBI has done for him. 

RBI Austin to Host MLB RBI Southwest Regional Tournament

RBI Austin to Host MLB RBI Southwest Regional Tournament

For the first time ever, the MLB RBI Southwest Regional tournament is heading to Austin, Texas!

RBI Austin will play host to the 2018 RBI Southwest Regional Tournament for 15U and 18U Baseball and 18U Softball on July 26-29 in Austin, Texas. Teams from four organizations across the region — Astros RBI, New Orleans RBI, Rangers RBI, and RBI Austin — will compete for the opportunity to advance to the 2018 RBI World Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota in August.

The Regional pool play games will be held Friday and Saturday at Concordia University and Westwood High School. The Baseball championship games will be at Dell Diamond and the Softball championship game will be at Concordia University. 

View the complete regional schedule and more event details.