Program aims to get baseball back in the inner city
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Twenty nine teams from across the Tennessee Valley lined the field at East Lake's Community Center in a ceremony to kick off the summer baseball season Saturday.
However, the kids are getting a lot more than a lesson on how to throw or hit a ball. Instead, they're learning how to be on a team.
"It means a lot to the inner city because we're trying to get baseball back up in the inner city," Parks and Rec program coordinator, Montrell Besley says.
RBI or Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is a program that teaches young boys and girls core values as well as the do's and don'ts of the ball game. "This is my first time playing on a baseball team," Edgar Carson says.
"A lot of these kids out here are on the street. We're trying to get rid of that, come out here do something with my life," says Marvin Menifee, a player.
This is the third year the City of Chattanooga teamed up with Major League Baseball. However, the program would not be the same without coaches like James Talley.
"Its something that I wasn't exposed to as a kid, I would've liked to been exposed to it. It gives them that outlet to be exposed to something different," Talley says.
The program aims to increase participation in the game while including more minorities. The local girls softball RBI will begin later in June.