Jays Care Foundation, in partnership with Toronto Community Housing (TCH) and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC), offers a safe, fun, active and engaging baseball program for children, ages 6-12, living in under-resourced communities. Rookie League is a cost-free program that uses the game of baseball as a foundation to teach children the importance of team work, cooperation and self-esteem. Toronto Blue Jays serve as Honourary Captains for each of the Rookie League divisions and all program sites are provided with shirts, hats, equipment and baseball coaching to facilitate programming. In 2012, Rookie League impacted over 4,400 children and youth across Canada.
In 2013, Rookie League will be celebrating its 25th season in Toronto, with the goal of providing 1,000 children from 45 TCH neighbourhoods with baseball programming, and supporting employment and development for 90 youth. The seven-week summer program will continue to break down community barriers by bringing underserved neighbourhoods together to play.
Across Canada, we will expand from 36 communities and aim to serve 4,000 children and youth in 41 BGC neighbourhoods across all 10 provinces and one territory. All BGCC communities commit to operating programs through two program cycles over the course of the year.
Jays Care works to ensure all children and youth have the opportunity to play, learn and grow through the sport of baseball. Follow the link below to purchase equipment or subsidize Rookie League registration costs for a child:
|Toronto Blue Jays President & CEO, Paul Beeston, met with the Jr. RBI Classic team and offered them advice and words of encouragement before their trip to Kansas City.
Photo Credit: Michelle Prata.
Eleven Rookie Leaguers were given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of representing the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League program in the Jr. RBI Classic in Kansas City. They were the first Canadian team in the tournament's history! For six weeks, the Rookie League team honed their baseball skills in preparation for the friendly, round-robin tournament and took what, for many of them, was their first trip outside Toronto. The team had many awesome experiences, including: meeting Paul Beeston and Joe Carter, participating in the Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies and clinic at Satchel Paige Stadium, watching the MLB All-Star Futures and Celebrity Softball games, touring the Negro League Baseball Museum and watching the MLB Home Run Derby. One of the Rookie League players, Faris, received a batting lesson from Tony Gwynn, and his essay was one of two selected in the Jr. RBI Classic essay-writing competition with a grand prize of catching fly balls in the Home Run Derby!
If you'd like to experience first-hand the journey of these 11 boys, watch Sportsnet's "Diamonds in the Rough" documentary, a moving story of heart, hope and baseball, narrated by Ricky Romero. This 30-minute feature follows the team, capturing the highlights of the experience.