Baseball season begins in Philadelphia
Rookie and RBI League season kicks off!
Noticing the dwindling number of children from inner city areas involved with baseball, the Phillies decided to take action and created the Phillies Rookie League program in 1989. Geared toward children aged 12 and under in areas that had not housed an organized baseball league in almost 20 years, the Rookie Leagues benefited 400 children. Since that time the program has grown to encompass over 4,000 boys and girls playing both baseball and softball in more than 40 locations throughout Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware.
The success of the program lies in its noncompetitive nature. Children learn that winning is not the most important aspect of the game, rather they are encouraged to learn the rules, proper techniques and to have fun while playing while at the same time being a good teammate and displaying good sportsmanship. But as the Rookie League children entered their teen years, we decided that it was time to implement a program that would include the children who had already become hooked on the game through their Rookie League participation and thus the RBI League was born.
Rookie Leagues receive:
A Phillies Rookie League Banner
A uniform, t-shirt and hat for each participant
Batting T (T-ball only)
Rookie and RBI League Chairman Chase Utley
For the past five years, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been the Rookie and RBI League Chairman. Chase loves working with the children and has met with members of the Rookie and RBI Leagues on several occasions to give baseball tips, answer questions, sign autographs and help hand out gloves to those in need.
Throughout the course of the year, the members of the Phillies Rookie League participate in various events.
Junior RBI Classic
During the All-Star break a team composed of 6 players from Whitman Park in Camden, New Jersey and 6 from Overbrook A.A. 51 in Philadelphia represented the Phillies Jr. RBI Rookie League program as they traveled to St. Louis to play in a friendly competition tournament - the Jr. RBI Classic presented by KPMG - against 15 teams from across the country. In addition to playing games, they explored Fan Fest, enjoyed the Futures Baseball Game at Busch Stadium, met with St. Louis' own Nelly and took in the Home Run Derby at a special viewing party hosted by Darryl McDaniel's better known as DMC of Run DMC. The Phillies Jr. RBI Rookie League is sponsored by Citizens Bank. Photo gallery
Sixth Annual Coaching Clinic
Fifty plus coaches from the Phillies Rookie and RBI League program came together at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center - a Phillies Rookie/RBI League site - for the sixth Annual Rookie and RBI Coaches Clinic
. Juan Namnum, head coach of the Frankford High School Pioneers , instructed coaches on the fundamentals of baseball. RBI/Rookie Coaching Clinic photo gallery
The Phillies hosted their first umpire clinic for coaches and volunteers. During the clinic, coaches of the various Rookie and RBI Leagues had the opportunity to ask questions about how to call a play. Instructors helped explained the different hand gestures that signal different calls, such as a strike call. They even discussed the proper field position an umpire should be in to call a play at a base.
Citizens Bank Field Clean Up & Glove Drive
To kick off the 2008 Rookie League season, Rookie League sponsor Citizens Bank held a field clean up at one the local Rookie league facilities to help prepare them for baseball. Volunteers from local Citizens Bank branches, the community, Phillies front office and Phillies broadcasters came out to help groom the field.
Citizens Bank continues to help support the Rookie Leagues by collecting gently used gloves at their kiosk in Ashburn Alley during every Phillies home game. They also held an exclusive "Day at the Park" event at Citizens Bank Park. Guest participated in the Games of Baseball and they were able to run the bases and participate in a self guided tour into the Phillies dugout and clubhouse.
Negro League Exhibit - Philadelphia Stars
Rookie League sponsor Citizens Bank helps to make the Rookie Leagues special and for this, members of the Rookie League help us say thank you with a special on field presentation.
Members of the Phillies Rookie and RBI program in West Philadelphia were treated to a baseball clinic run by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
Attending a Phillies game
Each year the Phillies provide tickets to the children and coaches of the Rookie Leagues. Many of the children have never been to a professional baseball game and this helps motivate them to continue to play the game they love.
Phillies Rookie and RBI Phun Day
In recognition of July's mid-summer classic the Phillies held their own festivities for their Rookie and RBI program. Players joined Phillies staff for some "phun in the sun" as they took part in various baseball themed games and activities. Those attending were treated to a visit from the Phillie Phanatic, gift bags from Citizens Bank and Turkey Hill Dairy products.
Rookie League Recognition Night
The Phillies appreciate the commitment of each Rookie league leader and coach. Their dedication helps children from their neighborhoods play baseball and softball. In recognition for their efforts, the Phillies invite all the league leaders and special guest to a Phillies game and Rooftop party filled with food. In addition, Rookie League sponsor Citizens Bank was presented with a special thank you from members of the Rookie League during a special on field presentation. Also honored on the field was the 2008 Rookie League's Coach of the Year Robert Baldwin of Zeihler Playground.
Members of several Rookie and RBI league were invited to Citizens Bank Park to participate in PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth). The program was run by the Phillies trainers and focused on how to live a healthy life. Included was a focus on nutrition and strength and conditioning.
To qualify to be a Phillies Rookie League, you must be located in an area that serves children who are unable to afford to play in an organized baseball league without assistance, you must have dedicated personnel to organize and run the league. A league is made up of a minimum of four teams of the same age level. You may have more than one league at your location, for example, 7-8 year old league and a 9-10 year old league for a total of at least eight teams.
Rookie locations past and present
48th and Woodland Playground, Philadelphia|
Academy Sabres, Philadelphia
Athletic Recreation, Philadelphia
Marion Anderson Monarchs, Philadelphia
Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, Newark, DE
Bridesburg Cougars, Philadelphia
Bustleton Bengals, Philadelphia
Cecil B. Moore Rookie League, Philadelphia
Chester Rookie League, Chester, PA
Columbus Square, Philadelphia
Cruz Rookie League, Philadelphia
District 7, Philadelphia
East Poplar, Philadelphia
Edward O'Malley Athletic Association, Philadelphia
FAJR 2 ISHA, Philadelphia
Federal Yards Baseball, Philadelphia
Feltonville Boys and Girls Club, Philadelphia
FJ Myers, Philadelphia
Gambrel's Recreation Center, Philadelphia
Germantown Wolverines, Philadelphia
Grays Ferry, Philadelphia
Granahan Monarchs, Philadelphia
Hank Gathers, Philadelphia
Harrogate B.C. Developmental, Philadelphia
Heitzman Rookie League, Philadelphia
Holy Terrors, Philadelphia
Hunting Park, Philadelphia
I.C.B.A. , Philadelphia
Ivy Hill, Philadelphia
J. Finnegan, Philadelphia
Jardel Athletic Association, Philadelphia
Kendrick Rookie League, Philadelphia
Lanier Playground, Philadelphia
Lee Cultural Center, Philadelphia
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
Martin Luther King Recreation Center, Philadelphia
Mayfair Athletic Club, Philadelphia
McAlpin Playground, Philadelphia
Mc Veigh, Philadelphia
Moore A.A. , Philadelphia
Mount Airy Baseball, Philadelphia
Mt. Airy/Germantown Boys & Girls Club, Philadelphia
Muslim Baseball League, Philadelphia
Newark Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, Newark, DE
Nicetown Assocation, Philadelphia
Norris Square, Philadelphia
North Hills, Philadelphia
North Light/Venice Island, Philadelphia
North Philly Baseball League, Philadelphia
Northeast Peanut League, Philadelphia
Northwest Philadelphia, Philadelphia
Northwest Raiders Baseball, Philadelphia
Oak Lane, Philadelphia
Olney Midget and Teen League, Philadelphia
Olney Recreation Center, Philadelphia
Overbrook Athletic Association, Philadelphia
Overbrook Park Athletic Association, Philadelphia
Palmyra Riverton Athletic Association, Philadelphia
Parents of Carmella Youth Association, Philadelphia
Passyunk Homes, Philadelphia
Pepper Playground, Philadelphia
Pleasant Panthers, Philadelphia
Port Richmond, Philadelphia
Rivera Recreation Center, Philadelphia
Shepard Rookie League, Philadelphia
Shot Tower, Philadelphia
South Philadelphia Girls Softball, Philadelphia
South Philadelphia Sabres, Philadelphia
Southwest Philly Baseball, Philadelphia
Tabor Rams, Philadelphia
The Lighthouse, Philadelphia
Tioga United, Philadelphia
Torresdale Boys Club, Philadelphia
Vare Recreation Center, Philadelphia
Vogt C.A. , Philadelphia
W.E.M.A. (Delaware) Youth League, Middeltown, DE
West Kensington Boys & Girls Club, Philadelphia
West Mill Creek, Philadelphia
West Oak Lane Stars, Philadelphia
West Philadelphia Youth Association, Philadelphia
Whitman Park Youth Association, Camden, NJ
Ziehler Playground, Philadelphia
For More Information
If you are interested in learning more about the Phillies Rookie Leagues or to see if your organization qualifies, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 215.463.1000.