Macon RBI kids chosen for MLB event in Cincinnati

A group of Macon kids that just got the opportunity to play baseball a few months ago is headed to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week festivities.

Macon’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, or RBI, league was one of 11 programs worldwide chosen to attend the event, which will be held in Cincinnati.

“Fantastic news for our first-year program,” said Jeff Battcher, Macon’s RBI administrator.

RBI has more than 300 leagues in more than 200 cities worldwide, which makes Macon’s selection more impressive, Battcher said. The kids chosen will have all their expenses paid and will get to stay on a college campus, likely Xavier University.

Battcher said league officials didn’t just pick one particular team out of the Macon league, which plays its games at Tom Fontaine Park, to participate.

“We picked the 12 kids that we thought were most deserving and it would benefit the most,” he said.

While the RBI groups won’t be attending the All-Star game on July 14, they’ll get to take part in other events that week. Current and former Major League players will be in the stands to watch a round-robin tournament among the RBI teams, and the young athletes also will attend the Home Run Derby on July 13.

“They’ll be some of the kids you’ll see in the outfield shagging balls and those things,” Battcher said.

According to a news release from MLB, the players also will help package meals for a food bank in the Cincinnati area. All in all, Battcher is hopeful the experience will be one the players won’t soon forget.

“Maybe it’ll affect one of those young kids’ lives,” he said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.