Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC) is committed to giving all children the opportunity to enjoy the game of baseball, and with that philosophy CWSC continues to fund several youth baseball programs. The programs target inner-city youth of all ages and playing levels, from recreational and intermediate to highly-competitive programming.
The inner-city program began with Inner City Youth Baseball League (formerly Inner City Little League) in 1993, and continues today with the White Sox RBI and the Amateur City Elite programs. Since 1993, nearly 10,000 youth in the city of Chicago have participated in Chicago White Sox Charities-sponsored youth baseball programs.
There has been a downward trend of participation by African-Americans in the sport of baseball, with an overall lack of exposure to college recruiters and professional scouts as one of the contributing factors to the dilemma. The White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program seeks to correct that issue for 100 qualified young players. It is the belief of the White Sox baseball should represent a viable option by which disadvantaged youths can attain a college education and potentially even a professional baseball career.
Through the ACE program, the Chicago White Sox offers rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on a traveling team. ACE team member youth, 13-18 years, of age are engaged through an elite practice and competition schedule while receiving academic direction to prepare them for success both on and off the field.
The highlight each season for the ACE program is the Double Duty Classic played at U.S. Cellular Field. The Double Duty Classic recreates the Negro League East-West All-Star Game played in Chicago at Comiskey Park and serves as an instrument to educate youth on the Negro Leagues and to provide exposure to professional and collegiate scouts.
Since the inception of the Amateur City Elite program in 2007, six alumni have been drafted by professional teams and 29 players have gone on to receive athletic aid in collegiate baseball.MORE ABOUT THE DOUBLE DUTY CLASSIC »
Chicago White Sox RBI program, in affiliation with Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), is a youth outreach program intended to motivate children in and out of the classroom with fundamentals learned through baseball. Youth in the 13-18 age groups have the chance to be in a free and safe environment where they are taught baseball and learn lessons such as teamwork along the way. The program is meant to increase knowledge and participation in baseball and softball.
Since affiliation with the RBI program in 2008, the White Sox RBI program has grown to feature 360 youth playing on 24 teams. The White Sox RBI program already has experienced success on the national level with the junior-division All-Stars (13-15 years of age) being named champions of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 RBI Central Regionals.
To improve RBI participant morale and encourage sustained participation in the program, White Sox current team members and broadcasters serve as honorary team captains. RBI teams take part in a special meet and greet with their "Team Captain" during the White Sox season and receive a jersey featuring their captain's name, a signed photo and a personalized letter.
The White Sox RBI program is operated in partnership with the Chicago Park District. To register for the program, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312-742-PLAY.
The ICYB program, in affiliation Major League Baseball's Junior Reviving baseball in Inner Cities (Jr. RBI), was created in order to provide youth, 9-12 years of age, a free and safe environment to participate in structured recreational baseball during the summer when they are off from school. The program is intended for families who are not financially able to participate in similar summer programs.
The ICYB program is designed to create new playing divisions that provide baseball and softball opportunities for children, ages 6-12, that is intended to serve as a feeder to the current RBI 13-18 baseball and softball divisions.
In 2009, the ICYB program was selected by Major League Baseball as one of the 16 pilot cities affiliated with the Jr. RBI program and participated in the inaugural Jr. RBI Classic July 10-12 in St. Louis.
The ICYB program is operated in partnership with the Chicago Park District, and features 450 youth playing on 30 teams. To register, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312-742-PLAY.