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RBI Scouting Showcase
About 13 young athletes from KCK RBI had an opportunity to play in front of Major League Baseball scouts and talk with them about baseball on Oct. 26 at the RBI Scouting Showcase. (Submitted photo)
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Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, posed for a photo with Cle Ross, executive director of KCK RBI, and his son, Ringo Ross, during an event Oct. 26 for youth. (Submitted photo)
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KCK RBI players with Harold Reynolds, MLB Network analyst, on Oct. 26 in St. Louis. (Submitted photo)
RBI Scouting Showcase
While other young baseball athletes in Kansas were watching the World Series games on television in late October, several from Kansas City, Kan., were in St. Louis, meeting major league scouts.
About 13 young athletes from Kansas City Kansas Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (KCK RBI) had an opportunity to play in front of Major League Baseball scouts and talk with them about baseball on Oct. 26 at the RBI Scouting Showcase.
They participated in a workout at Cool Papa Bell Stadium in the St. Louis area, and met former All-Star players and St. Louis Cardinals players who attended the workout, said Cle Ross, KCK RBI executive director. The KCK RBI youth were clocked on how fast they could run, and scouts made reports on their hitting and throwing abilities.
Each of the young players, ages 13 to 17, received a scouting report on what they did well and what they needed to work on, he said.
Not many young athletes from throughout the nation go on to the major leagues.
“Hard work is going to tell the difference,” Ross said. “Work ethic is going to separate those who go on to college and those who continue on with the sport.”
Three or four current KCK RBI members are definitely junior college or Division 1 material, Ross believes.
“It was definitely the right event to give KCK kids an opportunity to put themselves on the map,” he said.
Ross said KCK RBI also worked with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and Major League Baseball to help with the Wanna Play Clinic held before the scouting session. The seven KCK RBI players who helped with the clinic were asked to join the scouting session with the other six KCK RBI players. Most of the other leagues had only six players participating.
Ross added that the program was about more than just playing baseball.
“MLB also spoke to the kids about the opportunity to get a job with MLB even if off the field, as scouts, groundskeepers, managers, and announcers,” he said.
The MLB representatives encouraged the youth to get a college education so they can one day apply for whatever job may come their way, he said.
A special part of the trip was meeting Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, he said. Sharon Robinson was one of the speakers at the Wanna Play Clinic. Ross said he will never forget hearing about the baseball legend first-hand from Sharon Robinson.
“I was able to share that with my son, and we will never forget,” he said.
Ross said his youth athletes are more excited about Major League Baseball than they were a few years ago. Four years ago his players didn’t know who was on the Kansas City Royals roster, but that has changed now. They know the names of the Royals players and hope one day to add their own names to it.
“I would have hoped for the Royals to make it to the World Series, and if not the Royals, the next best was St. Louis,” he said. “I hope the Royals have a chance next year.”
The young athletes who attended from KCK RBI included Tommy Witter, Danny Vega, Chris Hunter, Jacob Gavel, Vincent Esparza, Jaylen Goudeau, Xavier Richardson, Alberto Ramos, Billy Kelley, Tyler Novotney, Mike Pyle, Jamal Rashaad and Ringo Ross.