Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Atlanta Wins 2 in RBI Series Inner-City Teams Have Fun at Busch

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Atlanta Wins 2 in RBI Series Inner-City Teams Have Fun at Busch

Article excerpt

Atlanta won the World Series twice Friday at Busch Stadium.

Not the Atlanta Braves, World Series losers the last two years.

The winners were the Atlanta Twins and the Atlanta Red Sox, in the first RBI World Series. RBI is Major League Baseball's acronym for its Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program.

The Atlanta Twins captured the junior division (ages 13-15) championship by trouncing San Juan, Puerto Rico, 18-3. The Atlanta Red Sox rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and beat their authentically named opponents - the Boston Red Sox - 7-5 in the senior division (ages 16-18).

The RBI World Series will be held in Anaheim, Calif., next year, but judging by responses, its maiden voyage in St. Louis was a hit.

"This was great experience for me, because I got to see all the players from around the country," said Chris Carmichael, 13, a slugging outfielder who collected a single, a triple and a home run, and produced three runs for the Twins.

The Twins broke open the junior division championship game with an 11-run third inning.

"This was my first time playing in a major-league ballpark," Carmichael said.

Ditto for Mikal Richey, another Atlantan, who began playing tee ball when he was 7. Richey, who said his idol is Braves center fielder Deion Sanders, was two for three with a double and three runs batted in.

Over the years, interest in baseball among minorities has waned in America's cities. The RBI League - founded in 1988 in Los Angeles - was instituted nationwide by Major League Baseball to offer deprived athletes an opportunity to thrive off the country's favorite pastime.

It's not just about being successful in baseball, though.

"We're going to measure the success of this program 15 years down the road when we see the careers these kids have," said Leonard Coleman, executive director of market development for Major League Baseball. …

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