Hall of Famer Hank Aaron to speak at players RBI World Series Presented by KPMG

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08/04/2009 10:53 AM ET
Event Heads to Jupiter, FL for First Time in 17-Year History of Championship Tournament MLB Network to Air Senior Baseball Championship Game at Home of Florida Marlins

Hall of Famer and Baseball Legend Hank Aaron will be speaking with the players of the 17th annual Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series presented by KPMG in Jupiter, Florida. Major League Baseball and the Florida Marlins will be hosting the tournament for the first time at Roger Dean Stadium, the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals shared Spring Training site, August 4-14. The RBI World Series is the championship round of the RBI program, the Major League Baseball youth baseball and softball initiative presented by KPMG since 2007, which is now in its 20th year of operation.
The 24 teams playing in the RBI World Series are divided in three divisions: Junior Boys (13-15 year olds); Senior Boys (16-18 years olds) and Girls Softball (18 and under). The returning champions in each division - Detroit (Junior Boys), Los Angeles (Senior Boys) and Santo Domingo, DR (Girls Softball) - will defend their titles against the winners of RBI regional tournaments in seven geographical areas. The baseball championship games will be held on August 9 at Land Shark Stadium - home to the Florida Marlins. The softball championship game will be played on August 14 at Lake Catherine Sports Complex in Palm Beach Gardens.

The following is a complete list of teams participating in this year's RBI World Series presented by KPMG:

Junior Boys Teams                                        Senior Boys Teams
Detroit (Think Detroit/Orchards Children's Services RBI)      Los Angeles (Los Angeles RBI)
Chicago (White Sox RBI)                                     Chicago (Union League Boys & Girls Club/Chicago Cubs RBI)
Santo Domingo (RBI Santo Domingo)                   Santo Domingo (RBI Santo Domingo)
Montgomery, AL (Montgomery RBI)                      Houston (Houston RBI)
Venice, CA (Urban Youth Academy RBI)                Venice, CA (Urban Youth Academy RBI)
Cleveland (Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI)      Tampa (Boys & Girls Club of Tampa RBI)
Miami (Florida Marlins RBI)                                 Detroit (Think Detroit/Orchards Children's Services RBI)
Jersey City (Jersey City RBI)                                Jersey City (Jersey City RBI)
Girls Softball Teams
Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo RBI)
Minneapolis/St. Paul (Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota Twins Community Fund RBI)
Jersey City (Jersey City RBI)
Tampa (Boys & Girls Club of Tampa RBI)
Puerto Rico (Roberto Clemente Sports City RBI)
Houston (Houston RBI)
Hilo, HI (Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island RBI)
Cleveland (Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI)

The Senior Baseball Championship will air live on MLB Network on August 9 at 3:00pm ET and the Softball Championship will be taped to broadcast on August 23 at 1:00pm ET, also on MLB Network. All three championship games will be streamed live on MLB.com.
"Major League Baseball would like to thank the Florida Marlins and KPMG for hosting and supporting the RBI World Series," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Over the last 20 years, the RBI Program has been encouraging youth across the country to strive for both athletic and academic achievement, and we are very proud of the effort and results. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I would like to wish the teams, coaches and players the best of luck in what will be an exciting 2009 RBI World Series." 
In addition to the round robin RBI World Series tournament, participating teams will attend Minor League Baseball games at the Roger Dean Complex, clinics put on by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) and receptions that will feature guest speakers such asHank Aaron;Bob DuPuy, President and COO, Major League Baseball;Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and MLB Educational programming consultant;Tony Perez, Hall of Famer and Special Assistant to Florida Marlins President David Samson;Andre Dawson, 1987 NL MVP and Special Assistant to Samson; and executives from KPMG LLP.
"We are extremely pleased and honored to host the final round of this tournament and we wish all the participants the best of luck," said Marlins President David Samson. "RBI has played a large role in shaping the lives of youth from coast to coast and we're thankful that MLB, KPMG and our organization have been able to contribute to the program's success."
In 2008, Major League Baseball Properties and KPMG established the "RBI for RBI" Scholarship Fund, a program created to provide financial support in the form of scholarships to selected recipients who participate in an RBI Program league. This year, twelve $5,000 "RBI for RBI" scholarships were awarded to select high school seniors, and these scholars will be recognized on August 4 at the welcome reception and August 13 at the closing reception of the 2009 RBI World Series presented by KPMG.
In an effort to expand and enhance the RBI program presented by KPMG, MLB unveiled the pilot phase of the Jr. RBI Program presented by KPMG, a youth baseball initiative similar to RBI, but for children ages 6 to 12, in April 2009. Teams from 16 cities around the country competed in local leagues, and during 2009 MLB All-Star Week in St. Louis, one team from each city participated in the inaugural Jr. RBI Classic presented by KPMG-a non-competitive tournament held at multiple field locations throughout St. Louis. KPMG, which became the first presenting sponsor of the RBI Program in June 2007, supports RBI through the development of financial literacy and other life skills courses. In addition to the more than 900 volunteers who supported this year's RBI presented by KPMG regional tournaments, KPMG volunteers will assist in facilitating the 2009 RBI World Series. The RBI program and RBI World Series presented by KPMG is also supported by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, which holds a variety of clinics for players throughout the year.
"KPMG is proud to sponsor the RBI program because of the difference it can make in so many young lives," said Tim Flynn, KPMG Chairman.  "We are excited that Hank Aaron will join us for the RBI World Series presented by KPMG.  He remains a role model as both a player and a person and we are excited that the kids will have the chance to meet him and learn from him."
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009, the RBI program presented by KPMG, founded by former Major Leaguer and Scout John Young, has provided the opening for many players to enter the college and professional game. More than 180 RBI participants have been drafted by MLB Clubs throughout the program's 20-year history and many others were given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. RBI alumni currently playing in the big leagues include:Carl Crawford(Tampa Bay Rays),Justin Upton(Arizona Diamondbacks),Coco Crisp(Kansas City Royals),James Loney(Los Angeles Dodgers) andCC Sabathia(New York Yankees).  
(2009 MLB All-Star Game MVP Presented by Chevy; Houston RBI - '97),Loney(Houston RBI - '99) andCrisp(Los Angeles RBI - '95, '96) each played in an RBI World Series. This year, seven current and former RBI participants were selected in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, including Tyler Skaggs (Los Angeles RBI), selected 40th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"The RBI program gives inner city kids a chance to play baseball on a level they may not have ever experienced," said Crawford. "It gave me an understanding of professional baseball at an early age.  I was able to travel and play in front of pro scouts and be seen."
The RBI Program presented by KPMG is one of many Major League Baseball initiatives dedicated to enhancing youth participation and interest in baseball and softball. Specifically, RBI is designed to promote interest in the sport and encourage kids to stay in school. RBI programs have been established in more than 200 cities worldwide and annually provide more than 100,000 boys and girls the opportunity to play baseball and softball. For more information, please visit:http://www.mlb.com/rbi 

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