The Chicago White Sox are committed to giving all children the opportunity to enjoy the game of baseball. With that philosophy, the organization continues to support a variety of youth baseball programs through Chicago White Sox Charities. The programs focus on inner-city youth of all ages and playing levels, from recreational to intermediate to highly-competitive programming.
The urban-focused youth baseball program began in 1993 with the Chicago Park District's Inner City Youth Baseball (ICYB), and continues today with the White Sox Reviving Baseball in Inner- Cites (RBI) and the Amateur City Elite (ACE) programs. Since 1993 nearly 11,000 young athletes in the city of Chicago have participated in White Sox Charities-supported youth baseball programs.
Double Duty Classic
The Chicago White Sox will host the Sixth Annual Double Duty Classic on July 9, 2013 - an event celebrating the history and tradition of Negro Leagues baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players.
The Double Duty Classic recreates the Negro League East-West All-Star game played in Chicago at Comiskey Park (between 1933-60). The game features elite inner-city high school baseball players from across the country and serves as an instrument to educate youth on the history of the Negro Leagues and provide exposure to professional and collegiate scouts. Players dress in uniforms honoring the Negro Leagues' East-West All-Star Game. For more information please visit whitesox.com/ddc or call 312-674-5369.
Amateur City Elite (ACE)
Through the ACE program, the White Sox give rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on traveling teams. Athletes 13-18 years of age are challenged and given the unique opportunity to play among elite teams as well as prepare for success in life after baseball.
There has been a downward trend of participation by African- Americans in baseball, with a lack of exposure to college recruiters and professional scouts as one of the contributing factors to the dilemma. The ACE program seeks to correct that issue for 105 qualified young players.
Since the inception of the Amateur City Elite program in 2007, eight alumni have been drafted by professional teams while 40 players have gone on to receive athletic aid in collegiate baseball.
The past year marked another successful year for the White Sox ACE program's history. Twelve players from a single graduating class have committed to athletic aid at NCAA Division I institutions during the early signing period. The 2013 graduation class includes Matt Cole (Alcorn State), Ronell Coleman (Vanderbilt), Elbert Dunnigan (Alcorn State), Robert Fletcher (Alcorn State), Jerry Houston (Oregon), Sanford Hunt (Chicago State), Regynold Johnson (Marion Catholic), Tyler Johnson (Texas Southern), Corey Ray ( Louisville), Marcellus Sneed (Alcorn State), Terrell Steward (Chicago State) and Marshawn Taylor (Eastern Illinois). All of these players have parlayed their baseball skills as a means to a college education, truly achieving the ultimate goal of the White Sox youth baseball initiatives. Since the inception of the ACE program in 2007, 8 alumni have been drafted by professional teams while forty two players have gone on to receive athletic aid to play collegiate baseball.
Chicago White Sox RBI
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 twenty-four 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, 2011, and 2012 RBI Central Regional's. The juniors were also national runner up during the 2012 season. The senior-division All-Stars (16-18 years of age) were named champions of the 2012 RBI Central Regional.
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.
Inner City Youth Baseball (ICYB)
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 sixteen pilot cities affiliated with the Jr. RBI program and participated in the inaugural Jr. RBI Classic July 10-12 in St. Louis, MO.
The ICYB program is operated in partnership with the Chicago Park District, and features 450 youth playing on thirty teams. To register, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312-742-PLAY.