Cesar Serna says that baseball is “in my veins.” His friend, Frankie Riagoza, feels the same. Both are recent high school graduates from Orange County, California, and both will play college baseball next season, thanks to the Los Angeles Angels and their RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) League. The Angels, in conjunction with participating Boys & Girls Clubs, make it possible for more than 600 youths in Orange County play for free on 30 baseball and softball teams in the RBI League. Teammates is proud to support the Angels RBI League with a yearly grant.
In addition to regular-season play, the Angels Foundation fielded two teams from their RBI League to play in the Ryan Lemmon Foundation Fall League. That experience was invaluable for Serna and Riagoza, who had their eyes set on a college, and hopefully professional, baseball career. It’s an opportunity that probably wouldn’t have happened without Angels RBI.
"We're trying to help give these kids a leg up so that they can better compete for spots at their high school when baseball season comes around," said Angels RBI president David Smith. "We want to give them what they need to stay in the game."
The Angels, through their RBI League, fund registration fees and the uniform and equipment needs of growing youth—from cleats to catcher’s gear. Coaches focus just as much attention on life skills and academic achievement as they do on baseball fundamentals.
“Without RBI, I would have probably hung out with the wrong people and gone the wrong way in life," said Miguel Vasquez, who plays on the senior RBI team while enrolled at Fullerton College. He joined one of the RBI League teams, the Placentia Angels, when he was 13, and also played for Valencia High.