Category Archives: RBI News

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.

Triple-A for a Day 2018

Triple-A for a Day

Saturday, August 4th

What: Triple-A for a Day including playoff games
When: Saturday, August 4th

  • 5pm: 12U Softball Semifinal (NAO Field #5)
  • 6:45pm: Jr. RBI Closing Ceremonies (NAO Field #4)
  • 7:30pm: 12U Baseball Semifinal (NAO Field #4)

Where: North Austin Optimist (NAO) —  1105 Morrow St., Austin, TX 78757
Who: All RBI kids, families, volunteers, and friends!
Why: To celebrate the end of the season!

The Round Rock Express is bringing their gameday crew, fun, and entertainment to make the Jr. RBI Austin playoff games an event for the whole RBI Austin family.

So whether you’re playing in one of the playoff games or joining us in the stands, there will be fun for every player, family, and fan!

Have questions? Email us at info@rbiaustin.org.

RBI Austin Baseball Players Awarded for Successful High School Season

RBI Austin Baseball Players Awarded for Successful High School Season

Congratulations to some of our RBI Austin 18U Fall Academy Team players for their successful school season. We couldn’t be more proud that these young men are a part of our program.

Awards don’t define our success, but these guys are great ball players, even better people, and they each worked hard to earn these accolades.

  • Luis Adame, Lanier HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District Pitcher
  • Sam DiCarlo, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District Pitcher
  • Walker Kohler, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District Catcher
  • Harrison Lee, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 1st Team All-District SS
  • Victor Mendoza, Austin HS, 25-5A Newcomer of the Year
  • Nate Moore, LBJ/LASA HS, 25-5A 2nd Team All-District OF
  • Oscar Zamorano, Del Valle HS, 14-6A 1st Team All-District Pitcher

We’re looking forward to see what the upcoming summer season has in store for them.

Summer Volunteer Roles

Summer Volunteer Roles

You’ve heard it before, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

This couldn’t be more true for RBI Austin’s summer leagues.

As we’ve grown from 118 kids to more than 1,171 kids, so has our need for gameday volunteers.

So whether you are behind the scenes assisting with gameday logistics, helping keep score on the sidelines, or in the thick of the action with the kids in the dugout, our summer volunteers are invaluable.

If you’ve been on the fence about serving and wondering just exactly what our various volunteer opportunities look like, check out of summer volunteer roles below.

HEAD COACH

A day in the life: You’re leading the charge for your RBI Austin team. You’re working with your assistant coaches to make sure that practices have a plan, that kids are having fun, and that families are engaged and invited into the team. Typically, head coaches have been involved with RBI Austin before and/or are familiar with RBI Austin’s mission + culture.

Time commitment: 1-2 games a week plus one practice a week

ASSISTANT COACH

A day in the life: You’re helping your head coach run the show. This can entail corralling kids, running drills at practice, being in charge of the batting lineup in the dugout. Head coaches cannot coach a team alone, and you play an essential, supportive role in the experience that RBI Austin players and parents have during the summertime. No baseball or softball experience is required, and we will make sure you get trained to do your role well.

Time commitment: 1-2 games a week plus one practice a week

SCOREKEEPER

A day in the life: Do you prefer to be more on the sidelines with a little less commitment than coaching? Scorekeepers help us make sure that games are running smoothly and being documented. You will be posted up behind home plate watching the game, keeping the “book”, and enjoying some summer sun at the ballpark. No experience is required, and we will make sure you get trained to do your role well.

Time commitment: We ask that Scorekeeping volunteers serve at least 5 games during the summer!

UMPIRE

A day in the life:  You keep our games moving — literally. Umpires will be trained in specific divisions and will be provided with all of the rules, regulations, and information they need to make sure that RBI Austin games are running smoothly and according to league rules.

Time commitment: We ask that Umpires serve at least 5 games during the summer!

SOUND/ATMOSPHERE  

A day in the life: You’re responsible for bringing the gameday environment! Who doesn’t love the ballpark atmosphere with music and hearing players being announced as they walk up to the plate? Sound/atmosphere volunteers assist with queuing walk-up music and announcing players and teams.

Time commitment: We ask that Sound/atmosphere volunteers serve at least 5 games during the summer!

FIELD MAINTENANCE  

A day in the life: A lot goes on behind the scenes to ensure that our RBI Austin kids have playable fields during the summer season. You’re responsible for helping maintain field quality that gives our players a sense of pride in where they get to play. Typically field maintenance tasks include clearing weeds from the infield dirt, building the mound, clearing trash, mowing, and edging.

Time commitment: As needed throughout the summer!

Attend a volunteer orientation

Ready to learn more? Attend one of our upcoming volunteer orientations:

RBI Austin Mission + Culture


RBI Austin Mission + Culture

If you’ve been around RBI Austin for any length of time, you know that  we love the games of baseball and softball, but there is so much more to our programs than that, and it starts our volunteers.

MISSION

RBI Austin’s mission is to engage and develop inner-city Austin youth athletically, academically, and spiritually, empowering them to lead the transformation of their communities.

We are committed to the development of the whole child. Along with physical development, personal and spiritual growth are critical to the development and transformation of young leaders. If our programs only focused on developing better ball players, we’d be missing the mark.

So, how does this play out? How do you help lead and cultivate a culture where our RBI Austin kids develop and ultimately feel empowered to transform their communities?

Below are three key elements to RBI Austin’s culture.

ONE: Pursue your players.

When a player doesn’t have a ride, find someone on the team to give them a ride or give them a ride yourself.  When a player no shows and you can’t get a hold of them, go knock on the family’s door!  Yes, go knock on their door.  Do everything you can to create an environment where that kid can be a part of your team.  That’s how we do it at RBI Austin.  We believe pursuing our RBI kids like this not only sets RBI Austin apart from almost any other league around, but it also reflects Jesus Christ’s love and pursuit for each one of us.

TWO: Invite parents to have a stake in your team.

For RBI Austin to achieve its mission, it is necessary for parents to be highly involved in our teams.  In the past seven years, RBI Austin has grown from 1 team to over 80 teams.  Parent involvement has been essential to this growth. Invite parents on your team to become coaches, team moms, and scorekeepers. If they don’t know how to do one of these roles, then teach them. Not all parents will accept your offer, but some will!

THREE: Balance excellence and fun.

We want excellence. We also want fun. We want to compete to win. But we want to recognize we’re here for a much higher purpose. As RBI coaches, we come to practice and games well-prepared to lead our teams with well-thought-out practice plans, lineups, and game strategies. As RBI coaches, we also come to the field seeking to make that time the most fun part of the day for our RBI kids. With excellent coaching and fun coaching, we inspire our RBI kids to live out who God has created them to be, and we keep our kids coming back year after year.

We focus on building a culture of community through baseball, softball, mentoring, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We come alongside kids and families. We are FOR their development, growth, and transformation — both on the ball field and off.

Courage and Pride: You’re giving these gifts

  A fresh haircut, a new suit jacket, hours of practicing his speech – none of these stopped the nerves from coming on Thursday morning.
Watch Leighton & Booker’s video

“He was terrified. We didn’t know for sure how many people he would be speaking in front of, but I just kept encouraging him, ‘You can do it.’

So, when I saw my 12-year-old son on that stage talking to a ballroom filled with people, I teared up.

I can honestly say that was one of the moments I’ve been most proud of Leighton. 

He was nervous the day of the event, but he had Booker’s support, Matt’s support, and my support. He did something he was scared of doing because he believes his story is important.”

Willie Mae, Leighton’s mom, reflected on the pride she had in her son as he presented during the 2018 Now at Bat program in front of 815 guests.

This is just one example of how service like yours is impacting East Austin families — giving a boy courage and a mother pride in her son.

Spending time with your RBI Austin kids can and will change lives.

Because of involvement like yours, someone is there to teach Leighton how to pick out a suit, how to practice public speaking, how to do things that push him out of his comfort zone.

More importantly, a positive, adult role model is speaking the love and grace of Jesus Christ into Leighton — motivating him and us to love others sacrificially.

Watch Leighton & Booker’s video