All posts by Lauren Witt

2019 Regional Recap

For the Second Year in a Row, RBI Austin’s 18U Baseball Team Wins Bid to MLB RBI World Series in Vero Beach

[WATCH THE FINAL OUT] RBI Austin defeats Houston Astros RBI 8-0, earning a bid to the MLB RBI World Series in Florida

This past weekend, Austin’s MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities affiliate — RBI Austin — hosted the MLB RBI Southwest Regional for the second year in a row. Teams from five organizations across the Southwest Region — El Paso RBI, Houston Astros RBI, New Orleans RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and RBI Austin — competed for the opportunity to advance to the 2019 MLB RBI World Series in Vero Beach, Florida. The Regional included three divisions: 15U Baseball, 18U Baseball, and 18U Softball, and this was RBI Austin’s first year to have an 18U Softball team participate.

The tournament took place around the city of Austin at Concordia University, St. Edward’s University, and the Round Rock Express’ Dell Diamond. This year’s RBI Southwest Regional champions are New Orleans RBI (15U Baseball), RBI Austin (18U Baseball), and Houston Astros RBI (18U Softball).

RBI Southwest Regional Champions

RBI Austin’s 18U Regional Baseball team defeated Houston Astros RBI 8-0 on Sunday, July 21st at Dell Diamond to win the tournament.

RBI Austin’s 18U Baseball Regional team defeated Houston Astros RBI 8-0 on Sunday, July 21st at Dell Diamond to win the MLB RBI Southwest Regional tournament! 

After earning a spot in the championship game with a 3-1 record in pool play, the Austin boys pulled off a dominant 8-0 victory over Houston to punch their all-expenses paid ticket to Vero Beach in August. At the RBI World Series on August 4th-9th, RBI Austin will compete against six other U.S. regional champions and one World regional champion for a chance to earn the program’s first RBI World Series title.

In Sunday’s championship game, RBI Austin faced University of Oklahoma commit Aaron Calhoun starting on the mound for Houston. RBI Austin hitters methodically worked Calhoun into deep counts, executed small ball to near perfection, and had timely hits to eventually knock Calhoun out of the game in the 4th inning.

At the plate for RBI Austin, catcher Walker Kohler (LBJ/LASA H.S. Class of 2020) went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and a walk, and second baseman Marc Juarez (McCallum H.S. Class of 2020) went 1 for 2 with a bases loaded RBI single and a walk.

Meanwhile, RBI Austin pitcher Nico Romero (Akins H.S. Class of 2020) used just 85 pitches to throw a complete game gem with 5 strikeouts, scattering 4 hits and 1 walk over 7 shutout innings. In its fifth game of the weekend, RBI Austin’s bullpen was thin by Sunday, making Romero’s complete game shutout a key ingredient to securing the Regional championship.

RBI Austin Softball Regional Team Makes Debut

In addition to securing an 18U Baseball Regional championship, this was a significant year for RBI Austin as it was the first time that Austin has had a softball team compete in the Regional. 

RBI Austin’s 18U Softball Regional team competed against solid competition from New Orleans RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, and 2018 MLB RBI World Series Softball Champions Houston Astros RBI. 

MLB RBI World Series

The 27th annual MLB RBI World Series will be hosted by Major League Baseball in Vero Beach, Florida on August 4th-9th and includes tournament games, scout workout days, banquets, community service events and more. 

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).

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for participants as they are exposed to such a high, professional level of the game that only Major League Baseball could provide. Blessings to RBI Austin’s 18U Regional Baseball team as they prepare for Vero Beach!

Top Three Reasons 2019 will be the Best Southwest Regional Yet

Top Three Reasons 2019 will be the Best Southwest Regional Yet

For the second year in a row, we’re hosting the MLB RBI Southwest Regional! This weekend, RBI Austin’s 15U Baseball + 18U Baseball AND 18U Softball Regional teams will compete with New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, and El Paso RBI to earn a bid to the RBI World Series in Florida! Here are a few reasons why we can’t wait!

#1 First-ever RBI Austin Softball Regional Team

The time has finally come! For the first time ever, we will have an 18U Softball Regional team participating in the Southwest Regional! We cannot wait for these ladies to represent RBI Austin and are celebrating the growth and depth of our softball program. Thank you for investing in these young ladies.

Our 18U Softball Regional players served our 9U & 12U Softball girls this summer as umpires and scorekeepers! You are investing in young women who are becoming leaders and role models for younger girls in our program!

#2 Welcoming friends new + Old

The Southwest region is vast – God bless Texas! – and we are excited for the opportunity to welcome both returning friends and new friends from RBI programs across the region. This year, we’re hosting the Houston Astros RBI, Texas Rangers RBI, New Orleans RBI, and El Paso RBI. This is El Paso’s first year joining us, and we’re excited for the opportunity to welcome them to our city!

#3 Increased Hospitality Opportunity

With one year of hosting under our belt, we are expectant to see how the Lord will use us to show radical hospitality to the players, coaches, and families of the participating programs. Last year was our first time hosting the Southwest Regional, and this year we hope to make this an even better experience for all involved.


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

Fruits of the Spirit: Love

You might have heard the Bible verse where Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This can be easy to do when our neighbors are our friends, but it’s so much harder to do when they are people who aren’t “cool,” people who are mean to you, or even our opponents on the field.

Jesus was the perfect example of someone who loved those who were hard to love — tax collectors (Luke 19), adulterers (John 7), and even those who killed him (Luke 23).

There are so many ways that we can show God’s love through our interactions with teammates, opponents, coaches, and umpires. We can tell our teammates “Good job!” when they get a hit or make an out.  We can listen to our coaches as they teach us to get better at fielding.  We can congratulate our opponents on a well-played game. We can thank our umpires for donating their time.

How will you show God’s love to those around you this week?

TRY IT AT HOME THIS WEEK: View the Love Fruits of the Spirit handout to see some ways you can try this at home with your kids or on the field with your players.

Jr. RBI Opening Day 2019

Jr. RBI Opening Day 2019
Saturday, June 1st at For the City Center

Waiting to meet their coaches at Jr. RBI Opening Day!

Wondering what’s next and when things are going to start?  

Join us at next Saturday’s Jr. RBI Opening Day at The For the City Center (find your check-in time below). At Opening Day you will meet your coaches, learn what team you are on, get practice location and time, and have the opportunity to purchase discounted belts, pants, and socks for your child.  
Please review important details below.

Jr. RBI Opening Day Details 
Meet your coaches and kick off the 2019 Jr. RBI Summer League with RBI Austin! 

DATE: NEXT Saturday, June 1st

TIME:

  • 10am – 11:30am (check-in begins 10am) — Group 1: 12U Softball9U Coach Pitch Softball, and T-Ball 
  • 12pm – 1:30pm (check-in begins at 12pm) — Group 2: 12U Baseball10U Baseball, and 8U Coach Pitch Baseball

To make the check-in process quicker, we are hosting two check-in times based on division as shown above. Players will only be able to meet their coaches by attending their assigned check-in time.

LOCATION: The For the City Center (500 East St. Johns Avenue, Austin, TX 78752)

Questions? Call us at (512) 381-7137 or email info@rbiaustin.org

Coach Cecil going over some logistics with his new players at Jr. RBI Opening Day!

Can’t wait for this season with you and your family!

Supporters hard at work to prepare RBI Austin for upcoming year

What your work in the off-season is making possible

In the world of sports, we know that a lot of work happens behind-the-scenes in order for the game to be played. You are part of this behind-the-scenes, hard work that makes life-changing relationships possible for our 1,312 RBI Austin kids. 

Your amazing generosity during our year-end giving and at our annual benefit Now at Bat has set RBI Austin up for success in 2019. 

Check out three very tangible ways that your support over the past few months is allowing RBI Austin kids to be part of the something life-giving. 

Increased longevity of relationships

Because of your support, we are able to continue providing programs for our 1,312 kids. This is HUGE since we believe that positive, consistent relationships in a child’s life are so powerful. This means more coaches and kids are returning, spending time together, and are being given the opportunity for their relationship to deepen. 

Softball program expansion

Because of your support, our softball program has taken huge strides in growing and deepening these past couple of years. We launched our first softball player development academy, and 2019 will be the first year when we are able to offer a league for 18U softball! 

Increased volunteer investment

There’s no doubt about it, we are a volunteer-led organization. Without our 518 volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to serve our 1,312 RBI Austin kids. Because of your support, we are able to increase our investment in volunteers through things like strategic coach and mentor trainings, program boards and committees, and volunteer socials.

Donors, supporters, and partners, we are so grateful for you!

Why Intern with RBI Austin?

Why Intern with RBI Austin?

Humility. Program Management. Leadership. Time Management. Serving like Jesus. Delegation. Newly Found Interests. God’s Character. Marketing Tools. Conflict Resolution. Communication Skills. 

These are just a few of the hard and soft skills that our previous summer interns have shared that they gained from their time with RBI Austin. 

If you are looking for an opportunity to gain hands-on, real-world experience in sports management, nonprofit management, and/or communications and marketing, we’d love for you to consider applying for one of our summer internships. Read below to hear a few takeaways from some of our past interns and also to see about application details!

From our past interns

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT: I learned a lot about how much effort and work has to happen behind the scenes to make an organization run. I had no idea how much it took to run a summer league this size. I now feel like I’m better prepared for other roles in life — not just in the workplace — because of the time management skills and people skills I had to learn to use during my summer internship.

TIME MANAGEMENT: With all of the different tasks and responsibilities during my management internship, I learned a lot about time management and also how to work with other people.

GOD’S CHARACTER: I’ve always considered myself a Christian, but through some of the spiritual development opportunities available during my internship, I actually learned more about who Jesus is. I learned that God is not a God in some far off land, but He is real and present.

NEWLY FOUND INTERESTS: I learned new skills related to my major that I didn’t even know that I liked. As a communications intern, I had the opportunity to be in charge of some photography and content collection this summer. I didn’t really realize how much I enjoyed it until getting to practice and having it as one of my responsibilities.

MARKETING TOOLS: During my communications/marketing internship, I learned some significant marketing tools and systems that will help me moving forward in my school work and in future internship or job opportunities — tools that help making branded graphics, schedule social postings, and creating blog schedules.

ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY: A major takeaway that I gained during my RBI Austin internship was the importance of accepting responsibility. There were situations that arose where someone on our team dropped a ball or where a parent or coach was unhappy. Through my supervisor, I was taught that people respond much better to a mistake being made if someone takes responsibility for it. 

SERVING LIKE JESUS: I learned to serve like Jesus calls us to serve…with humility — Some of the summer responsibilities were not the most glamorous or exciting. But in order to make the summer program happen and to fulfill my responsibilities as part of the RBI Austin team, I had to suck it up and get it done. Jesus served those around him with humility and I really do think this is an invaluable thing I learned this summer — to serve those around me with humility.

DELEGATION: I really did feel like I was part of a team with the other RBI Austin interns, staff, and volunteer leaders. With this, I learned how to lean on my team and to delegate. All the tasks assigned to me where not necessarily mine to execute, but they were mine to get done, either myself or through delegation. I think this is huge in learning how to function in a professional work environment moving forward.

MORE THAN A RESUME BUILDER: I went into this summer thinking that this would mainly be another thing to add on my resume. However, with the amount of responsibility I was given, it was impossible to not grow in ways well beyond what I imagined. It was impossible not to fail and it was impossible not to learn. It wasn’t just another thing to add to my resume. It provided real, hands-on experience to make me a better future employee. 

Application Details

More details about our internship program, including internship descriptions and application steps, please visit www.rbiaustin.org/internships/. Our application deadline is Friday, March 15th.

If you have any questions, please email lauren.witt@rbiaustin.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.