INDIANAPOLIS – Play Ball Indiana will kick off its 2016 season with a full slate of games and Opening Day festivities this Saturday at Forest Manor Park on Indianapolis’ east side. This year’s celebration will feature the beloved mascot of the Indianapolis Indians, Rowdie! Rowdie will serve as grand marshal for the annual neighborhood parade as he will lead the future big leaguers as they caravan through the city.
The parade begins at Forest Manor Park at 8:30 a.m. and will return by 9:15 a.m. Opening ceremonies will follow the parade, with first pitch scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Play Ball Indiana is the Indianapolis affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. RBI 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 minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork.
Click here to find out how you can help Play Ball Indiana continue to make baseball and softball programs available to our city’s youth.
PBI currently administers baseball and softball leagues for Indianapolis’ urban youth, supporting more than 1,500 players. PBI leagues are based at four locations around the city – Forest Manor Park, Garfield Park, Carnine (Rhodius Park) and St. Alban’s – and range from Tee Ball (3-5 year-olds) to High School summer leagues with top players eligible for selection to the RBI Regional Tournaments and select showcase events.
PBI began as the Indiana Amateur Baseball Association in 1982 by former All-American college baseball player Milt Thompson and Indianapolis businessman Jim Young as a way to encourage area high school teams to participate in summer leagues. Since its founding, nearly 60,000 players have participated in PBI programs. PBI has managed the Indianapolis RBI program since its inception in 1997.