Ron Washington has been an avid supporter of Major League Baseball’s movement to encourage children in the inner cities to play the game. He helped establish a Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program in his hometown of New Orleans.
That’s why Washington was pleased to see MLB announce the Rangers as host of the 2014 and 2015 RBI World Series on Friday with the baseball championship games being played at Rangers Ballpark.
Washington knows the importance of drawing inner-city children into the game he loves, especially as basketball and football have increased popularity.
“If they have athletic ability and it’s profound in basketball or football, they can get where they’re going quicker,” Washington said. “In baseball, you have to be very special to sign out of high school or college and go right to the big leagues. In those other sports, you sign and go right into the big leagues.”
That’s why the RBI program was established 26 years ago. MLB and its teams spend more than $30 million annually on it, and it serves more than 220,000 children worldwide.
The championship tournament will take place Aug. 6-17 this year with games being played at various locations throughout the area. The baseball championship games will take place at Rangers Ballpark, and the softball championship games will be held at Northwood University in Cedar Hill.
-- Drew Davison