Major League Baseball
Kids and baseball – it's a natural fit. That's why the partnership between Major League Baseball® and Boys & Girls Clubs of America is such a winning combination. Since MLB™ designated BGCA as an official charitable partner in 1997, this highly successful relationship has given countless children the chance to realize their dreams both on and off the field.
The Major League Baseball® commitment to kids and BGCA is deep and far-reaching. From high-impact programs introducing kids to baseball, to national awareness campaigns and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for Club kids, this multi-faceted partnership has positively impacted the entire Boys & Girls Club Movement.
The dynamic RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program has created baseball and softball leagues in more than 200 communities worldwide, creating opportunities for thousands of kids each year. All RBI leagues incorporate SportSMART, a life-skills curriculum adapted from the BGCA program SMART Moves, to teach young players about responsible behavior and decision making.
In 2010, Major League Baseball and BGCA launched MLB Wanna Play?TM, a national fitness program that allows boys and girls ages 6 to 12 to improve their health and fitness as they learn fundamental baseball skills through fun and enriching activities.
Each year, BGCA enjoys nationwide exposure through an MLB-produced public service campaign featuring players and Club youth that is televised nationally and locally. These popular spots generate invaluable awareness for the Boys & Girls Club brand. In addition to this advertising campaign valued at over $25 million a year, BGCA has benefited from some $20 million in direct and indirect funding generated by Major League Baseball over the last decade.
A key reason for the partnership's success is the deep, personal connection so many big leaguers have with Boys & Girls Clubs. Club alumni include greats like Joe DiMaggio, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, CC Sabathia and Jimmy Rollins. Legends such as Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ken Griffey Jr. also lend their support to Boys & Girls Clubs.