The Miami Marlins RBI Junior baseball team defeated the Atlanta RBI team to win the Southeast RBI Regional Tournament at the Vero Beach Sports Village, formerly Dodgertown. The Marlins advanced to the RBI World Series in Minnesota.
This marked the third time in five years a Marlins RBI Junior team (age 13-15) reached the world series. They went 1-2-1 at the world series.
At regionals, the Marlins went 4-1. In the championship game against Atlanta, Gianlucca Borelly of Hialeah High School went 4-for-4, and Eddy Nodarse of Hialeah Gardens High School threw a complete game 3-hitter.
Marlins RBI Coach Mario Rodriguez was the coach of the Senior Division team that represented the Marlins in the 2008 RBI World Series. One of his players, Michael Jordan, is now an assistant coach on the 2013 team. Jordan has been instrumental in the Marlins RBI league, working with individual RBI players on a one-on-one basis throughout the year.
Marlins RBI players James Spatafora and Ryan Williams were members of the Marlins RBI team that played in the inaugural Jr. RBI Classic during the 2009 All-Star Week in St. Louis. Ryan’s older brother, Ronnie, was on the Marlins RBI team that played in the 2009 and 2010 RBI World Series.
Also, Alejandro Vazquez came from Cuba to Miami a few years ago and gets along with his Marlins RBI coaches and teammates despite having limited command of the English language.
The RBI program was created to revive baseball in inner cities and give those students the opportunity to play baseball in the summer.