Twins to host R.B.I. World Series again
JUL 31, 2012 6:49p ET
MINNEAPOLIS — For the second year in a row, the Minnesota Twins are playing host to the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event, which elicited a visit from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig at Target Field on Tuesday.
Selig spoke at a luncheon for the event, addressing a number of topics. Among them was the RBI program, which is an initiative put on by MLB to "give young people from underserved and urban communities." The program now serves over 200,000 youth worldwide.
"Each year, a great event like this would not happen without a host club that dedicates its time and its staff and its essence to make this the best experience possible for all of you," Selig told the RBI World Series participants at Tuesday's luncheon. "The Minnesota Twins have done a tremendous job of hoisting the RBI World Series in 2011 and again raising the bar in 2012."
This year's RBI World Series includes both baseball and softball games held in the Twin Cities area. The baseball games will run Aug. 2-5 and softball will take place Aug. 7-12. The baseball championship game will be held at Target Field, while the softball championship will be played at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, the softball diamond on the University of Minnesota campus.
Former Twins greats Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Paul Molitor and Tony Oliva, as well as Twins president Dave St. Peter and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan, joined Selig at Tuesday's luncheon.
"We are privileged in this community to be the home of the 20th anniversary of the RBI World Series," St. Peter said Tuesday. "We salute all of the players, all of the coaches, all of the volunteers, all of the folks who have been behind these teams in their journey with the hope of pursuing a World Series title."
St. Peter said that over 6,000 kids in the Twin Cities are part of the RBI program this year. Former Twins and Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield helped formed Minnesota's RBI program in 1993.
In the 24-year history of the RBI World Series, over 200 participants have been drafted by MLB teams, including Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, Boston outfielder Carl Crawford and Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. Two players who took part in last year's RBI World Series were selected in the 2012 MLB draft.
"I've often said that baseball is the social institution with enormous social responsibilities," Selig said. "It's a day like this that makes you proud to be the commissioner of baseball."Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.