For nearly 20 years, Play Ball Indiana has been proud to be the exclusive Indianapolis affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) initiative and the operator of the Indianapolis RBI leagues. Tens of thousands of baseball and softball players have come to know Indianapolis RBI as the area's premier urban baseball and softball leagues.
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is a youth outreach program designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, increase the number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and beyond, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork.
Our mission is to build good character, foster responsible behavior, encourage development of baseball and softball skills, encourage the enjoyment of healthy competition and teamwork, and build the values of honesty, fairness, integrity and inclusion with a commitment to excellence.
We want to help build Major League citizens!
With nearly 2,000 participants, Indianapolis RBI currently operates youth baseball and softball leagues at four Indianapolis venues: Indy RBI East at Forest Manor Park; Indy RBI at Christian Park; Indy RBI South at Garfield Park; Indy RBI West at Rhodius Park; and Indy RBI North at St. Alban’s.
Through our exclusive partnership with Major League Baseball, baseball and softball players ages 13-18 are eligible to be selected for participation in the RBI Regional tournaments, where players vie for the opportunity to play on a Major League field and a spot in the RBI World Series.
How We Got Here: A Brief History:
The Play Ball Indiana story began in 1981 when Indianapolis attorney Milt Thompson and his friend Jim Young developed a program that focused on creating opportunities for inner city youth to play baseball - the Indiana Amateur Baseball Association (IABA).
Fifteen years later, Thompson hired Mike Lennox to serve as the program’s first and, to this point, only executive director. The following year, Lennox partnered with Major League Baseball’s newly formed Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities (RBI) program and began to expand the breadth and depth of PBI’s offerings.
Initially, the program supported IPS baseball, from middle school through high school, organizing spring and summer leagues. While the program has evolved to include the entire city of Indianapolis and players as young as 3-years-old, the focus has always remained the same: support and grow inner city baseball.
The Future: Dreaming Big
While we’re proud of where we are and how far we’ve come during the past 35 years, we are thinking bigger! Exciting new partnerships, new athletic and academic programming and an emphasis on providing unique and exciting opportunities for our kids are what drives us.