Rangers to host 2014, 2015 RBI World Series

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- The Texas Rangers will host the 2014 and 2015 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. The RBI program is Major League Baseball's youth initiative designed to help give young people from underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball. The program also encourages academic achievement and teaches the value of teamwork and other life lessons.

The baseball championship games will be played at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and other tournament games will be spread out around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That includes fields in Grapevine, Southlake and Colleyville from Aug. 6 to Aug. 17. The softball title game will be at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas.

The winners of the eight RBI regional qualifying tournaments will participate, meaning a total of 24 teams in three divisions -- junior baseball (13-15 year olds), senior baseball (16-18 year olds) and softball (19 and under) will be involved.

Rangers manager Ron Washington, with MLB's help, aided rebuilding efforts for youth baseball in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And he was in attendance at the news conference Friday talking about how important it is to get kids involved in baseball early.

"Baseball is a life-learning process," Washington said. "It teaches you what failure is all about, what it means to be a good teammate and it teaches you accountability."

An impressive group of All-Stars has participated in the RBI program, including CC Sabathia and Justin Upton. The Rangers drafted an RBI alum in Sal Mendez in the 40th round last year.

“As a father of two boys, I think it is awesome what RBI does in creating opportunities for kids to play the game," said Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder in the release. "The more chances, the better baseball has to grow young players.”