Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – It’ll be the trip of a lifetime for a Syracuse youth baseball team, an all expense paid trip to New York City for the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities.
But the Syracuse RBI team consisting of 11 and 12-year-olds will not just be spectating, they’ll be stepping onto Citi Field in New York City to participate in some All-Star festivities.
"I was actually shocked and surprised. I never thought I was going to be able to do something like this," said Ryan Kisselstein, the first baseman for the RBI.
Syracuse RBI is one of only a handful of teams across the country to be picked for an exciting series of activities surrounding All-Star weekend.
It's all part of major league baseball's RBI Program or Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program.
They'll be playing the other teams at parks in Queens, watching the celebrity softball game and then the most exciting part of the whole trip.
"It’s going to be big, it’s going to be a huge opportunity. Not many people get to do that, it's really amazing," said catcher Nadea Davis.
They'll actually be standing in the outfield at Citi Field shagging fly balls for the Home Run Derby for Major League All-Stars.
"That is actually on ESPN. It's a great experience, the kids are all excited, I'm excited, it’s something really no one's done around here,” said Syracuse RBI coach Steve Barnum.
"I'm pumped about being able to see the Home Run Derby live and just being down at Mets Stadium, it’s my first time in a MLB stadium," Kisselstein said.
"They get to meet and greet and pros. We have two locals in the All-Star game, Jason Grilli (of the Pittsburgh Pirates) and Pat Corbin (of the Arizona Diamondbacks)," explained Barnum.
Major League Baseball sent a luxury bus to take the team to New York City. MLB is also providing them with rooms on the campus of St. Johns and taking care of their meals and uniforms
All the Syracuse RBI players are from the Southside and Eastwood sections of Syracuse.