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Twins in the Community

Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is an international initiative of Major League Baseball for youth in urban areas, ages 13-18. From its inception in 1989, RBI has grown from a local program for boys in South Central Los Angeles to an international campaign encompassing more than 200 cities and as many as 200,000 male and female participants a year.

Administered globally by MLB, the program is designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth; encourage academic participation and achievement; increase number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and minor leagues; promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork.

Locally, the Minnesota Twins RBI program is operated in partnership with MLB, Twins Community Fund, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation. Since 1993, the Twins Community Fund has contributed nearly $2 million to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation to operate leagues in their respective city. Along with operating funds, the Twins Community Fund also grants money to each city to assist with the creation and renovation of ball fields.

The creation of the RBI program in the Twin Cities was due in large part to National Baseball Hall of Famers and Twins alumni Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett. In 1993, Winfield and Puckett were shocked to learn how few inner city youth were playing baseball and softball and in response they co-founded the Rookie League for youth ages 8-12. The Rookie League eventually became the RBI program.

The Twins RBI program serves nearly 6,000 youth in the Twin Cities. The program operates with the following goals in mind:
  • To provide an opportunity for inner city youth to participate and gain interest in baseball and softball
  • To provide a positive team oriented activity to teach inner city youth teamwork, positive sportsmanship and social responsibility
  • To provide encouragement of academic participation and achievement

The Twins RBI program features athletic, educational and life skills opportunities for its participants; some of these opportunities include:

  • Twins Games - RBI participants have an opportunity to attend select Twins home games and meet Twins players.
  • RBI Academy - Free baseball and softball skills clinics.
  • All Star Teams - The all-star program provides players another opportunity to participate in a highly competitive atmosphere. Each season three all-star teams compete in the RBI Central Regional Tournament with an opportunity to qualify for the RBI World Series.
  • Regional and World Series Tournaments - The Twins RBI program has hosted the RBI Central Regional Tournament on many occasions and in 2011 and 2012, the program hosted the RBI World Series.
  • Breaking Barriers: In Sports, in Life - This program is a multicultural character education program developed by Major League Baseball and Sharon Robinson, daughter of the late Jackie Robinson.

If you are interested in playing in the Twins RBI program you can register for a baseball or softball team at the Minneapolis or St. Paul recreation center closest to your home.

The growth and success of the Twins RBI program is in large part due to volunteers who have devoted their time to kids involved in the program. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and St. Paul Parks and Recreation Division are constantly looking for people to help with various aspects of RBI including volunteer coaches and paid umpires. If you are interested in getting involved with the RBI program you can contact the recreation center closest to your home.

If you have questions about the nearest recreation center or general questions regarding registering or getting involved you can call the following numbers:
  • Minneapolis
    • Baseball: (612) 230-6495
    • Softball: (612) 230-6488
  • St. Paul
    • Baseball: (651) 558-2107
    • Softball: (651) 558-2254