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Junior RBI Classic Brings Students Closer to the Big GameJuly 5, 2012
Like baseball fans nationwide, Rockhurst student-athlete Lizzy Tucker, ’13, is looking forward to the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. But Tucker is getting ready for more than just the one exciting game at Kauffman Stadium.
She, along with fellow 2011-12 Rockhurst softball players Natalie Johnson and Alex Jacobson, has been selected to serve as a team host for the MLB-sponsored Junior RBI Classic.
The RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) Classic, a 36-game tournament co-hosted by Rockhurst University, will take place July 6-9. Eight baseball and four softball teams comprising youth ages 11-12 from around the country will be in attendance. Half of the softball games will take place at Rockhurst’s Loyola Park Softball Field, with all other games at nearby Cleveland Park, located at 3801 E. 43rd St., and the Clark-Ketterman Athletic Complex at East 107th Street and Skiles Avenue in Kansas City, Mo.
As a team host, Tucker and the others will serve as chaperones, guiding assigned teams during their stay at Rockhurst.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” said Tucker, fifth-year exercise science student and former catcher for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Rockhurst softball teams. “My dream is to become a college-level softball coach, and this experience will be so beneficial.
“On top of this chance to guide and mentor these young players, all of the teams, hosts and coaches will also get to participate in a number of MLB-sponsored All-Star Game events and workshops, including the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. It is a dream come true.”
All 12 teams will stay in Rockhurst campus housing for the duration of the camp, with tournament play beginning Friday, July 6.
“It’s a great experience for these young athletes,” said Tucker. “The Junior RBI programs provide opportunities for young athletes in underserved communities to come together and play the sports they love. Housing these athletes on a college campus like Rockhurst is a great perk because it ties athletics to academics, showing them that they can have a future in their sport if they work hard both on and off the field.”
In addition to tournament play, team members will attend and participate in a number of MLB All-Star Week events such as MLB All-Star FanFest, FanFest Legends Clinics, Taco Bell All-Star Sunday, XM All-Star Futures Game, Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, the State Farm Home Run Derby, and a skills clinic led by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Given Kansas City’s rich history of Negro League Baseball, players will also swing by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for a tour during their stay in Kansas City.
Event partners include the Kansas City Royals, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, and the Greater Kansas City Boys & Girls Club.
Find more information about the Junior RBI Classic and download a game schedule here.