They play on a field rich with history and now they're making history of their own.
For the second straight year, two teams from the Campbell Park-based St. Petersburg RBI baseball organization are headed to the RBI World Series in Compton, Calif.
RBI, or Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, is a Major League Baseball-backed and Boys & Girls Clubs-sponsored initiative.
The St. Petersburg RBI juniors (age 13-15) and seniors (16-18) advanced through play at the Southeastern Regional Championships on July 6-8 in Jupiter and will travel to Compton, Calif., to play in the World Series tournament on Aug. 7-12. The World Series title game will be held at Dodger Stadium.
"I've got a bunch of good kids, and they all played a good part in making it this far," said juniors manager John Takarewicz, the organization's local director. "If it wasn't the hitting, it was the fielding. If it wasn't the pitching, it was somebody running the bases."
The juniors, who placed third among eight team's in last year's World Series tournament, advanced through regional play in Jupiter by winning five straight games and outscoring opponents 47-11.
Members of the juniors are Noel Thomas, Tyler Griffith, Kyle Chavez, Shawn Delmontagne, Clarence Wilson, Jeremy Lopez, Sean Qurran, Trent Locke, Walter Lammerson, Brock Jensen, Quintarious Moultrie, Brandon Clemons, Tim Lamoureaux, Travis Agosto and Zander Devlin. The team is coached by Takarewicz, Joe Chavez, Bert Clemons and J.T. Thomas.
The seniors, who also went 5-0 at regionals and finished third at the 2006 World Series, are managed by Shawn Mellnick. Team members are Grant Abadal, Travis Aipel, Jeff Ballou, Kyle Clements, Chris Clinton, Austin Elmore, Satchel Gaines, Thomas Eatherton, Marquis Hutchinson, Kelvin Powell, Zach Upton, James Wilson, Erving De La Concha, Donnie Albro and Ryan Hellwege. The assistant coaches are Mike Mellnick, Rafael Abadal and Kevin Clinton.
If you have youth sports news, contact Times correspondent Emery Skolfield at (727) 481-2027 or email@example.com.