Wednesday, July 25, 2012

City Welcomes Youth Baseball Tournament to Richmond

The city of Richmond and the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League (MJBL) are joining together to sponsor the Inner City Classic tournament in Richmond. The Classic, which is the oldest and longest running inner city baseball tournament in the country, will begin on July 31 and continue through Aug. 5. Games will be held on almost every field in Richmond, including The Diamond, and will include free activities for the public. The five day tournament is expected to bring hundreds of young baseball players ages six to nineteen to the city along with their coaches, families and friends.
     “We welcome the MJBL Inner City Classic back to the city of Richmond and I am pleased that more than 1500 talented inner-city youth will have the opportunity to be part of the tournament. We also welcome the economic impact that accompanies the tournament,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I commend MJBL for providing the opportunity for urban youth to travel to other cities and experience diverse cultures all while enjoying the game of baseball.”
     As part of their tournament experience, the young players will have the opportunity to visit four area colleges - Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond - as well as attend a Flying Squirrels game and spend an afternoon at Kings Dominion. In addition, a Bobby Bonds Memorial Symposium will be held on the evening of August 3 at Virginia Union University’s Auditorium. The symposium will feature a panel discussion on cognitive and physical benefits of youth baseball.
     Designed especially for the public and fans is a free morning workout session with fitness gurus “Lisa and Priest” of WholeLifeStyles Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 9 a.m. that will be held in Byrd Park beside Fountain Lake. Lisa and Priest are well-known from Lisa’s appearance on NBC Today and her regular spot on New York’s WWRL AM talk radio. She has also been featured in Essence, Prevention and Fitness magazines and on MSNBC, CBS and ABC. A Health Fair will take place in Byrd Park behind the tennis complex immediately following the workout. It is also free and open to the public.
     Dr. Norman Merrifield, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities stated, “We fully support youth engagement in athletics and programs that promote public health, as well as the economic benefits this tournament will bring to the city.”
     The opening ceremony will take place on July 31 at The Diamond with teams being introduced prior to the Richmond Flying Squirrels vs. Reading Phillies game. The Classic tournament games will begin Aug. 1 at 9 a.m. and continue through Aug. 5, with the final championship game to be held at The Diamond. The 12U championship game, which has been dubbed the “MJBL Black World Series,” will take place on Saturday, Aug. 4. All games are open to the public and free to attend. For a complete schedule and more information, visit