Myra Blackwell writes from St Paul, MN…
I haven’t forgotten to send todays recap. We are at the Futures v Legends game, followed by the Celebrity Softball game. The games are televised so tune in. We paraded around the field for some TV time and are at our seats now.
Tell you more later!
Hello from St. Paul, MN!
We jumped right into action Saturday morning with a double header, facing the home team (Minnesota) and Mt. Vernon. The weather was kind to us with overcast skies, giving us some relief from the sun. The kids played well and had fun competing. The field that played on was located next to a stadium called Toni Stone Field. It’s named after Marcelia “Toni Stone” Lyle Alberta, who was the first female on an (otherwise) all-male professional baseball team (San Francisco Sea Lions, 1949). As you will notice, I don’t speak much of scores or winning/losing in regards to the games. RBI makes it clear that this isn’t about what the scoreboard reads at the end of the game. It’s about having fun, sportsmanship, learning the game, teamwork, and the opportunity and experience of the Jr RBI Classics makes every participant a winner.
After lunch it was off to FanFest at the convention center. FanFest included vendors with product samples and freebies, baseball memorabilia, food, interactive baseball history, live interviews, and more. The highlight for the kids was participating in a clinic on The Diamond in front of FanFest goers and television. As well as the many skills stations for adults and children who wanted to test their batting, pitching or stealing skills. We also had the pleasure of meeting and having a great conversation with Jim “Mudcat” Grant! He was the first African American to win a World Series game in the American League (1965). He loves what we are doing with and for the kids and assured us that we will be seeing him in Durham soon to help with our efforts!
I must say that our group doesn’t meet many strangers. At dinner they sat with other teams that let to an hour or so of fun filled play of (not strangers) but boys and girls who shared a common.interest…the game of baseball. The campus is small and has a beautiful courtyard that’s open and made for a great space for the 60+ kids that were outside to play tag, dance, or walk and talk about…whatever it is that they talk about. That is what RBI is about – new experiences with new people through respectful interactions and play. Great job to our boys for taking the initiative to talk to new people and be leaders.
After burning some energy outside it was time to turn in to prepare for the next big day. Plus the mosquitos were horrible. Honestly, they are everywhere and seem to eat bug repellent as an appetizer. There are tons of them here and they hurt when they bite. The joke of the day that I heard goes:
Q: What’s the state bird for Minnesota
A: The mosquito!
Trust me, they are horrible here due a lot to the amount of rain they’ve received this year and because the city is close to the Mississippi river.
I’m not sure of any of you have caught any footage on TV or online. If not, here’s a link that includes an article and video about the Jr RBI classics.