PASSAIC, N.J. — Passaic officials want to keep baseball as one of its city's pastimes with some help from the pros.
City officials discussed joining the Major League Baseball RBI program, dedicated to helping the sport in inner cities.
Jessica Lezcano, recreation superintendent for Passaic, said it would be a great opportunity for the city.
"Not just in obvious name recognition to have the backing of RBI, but it's also what comes with that," Lezcano said. "They're able to offer training for our coacches that no other league is able to offer us. Opportunities just become more easily accessible to us."
Lezcano said they're still in the early stages of possibly joining the program and nothing is official. However it is an honor to be considered, she said.
Keith Furlong, spokesman for Passaic, said it's something they are striving toward.
"We're hopeful and we think it would be great, but there are no guarantees," Furlong said.
Instead of standing for runs batted in, RBI is short for "reviving baseball in inner cities" for the program. It's designed to promote baseball for teens and is in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America, its website states.
In addition to training, RBI can provide grants for uniforms, equipment and field upgrades, Lezcano said.
Passaic has more than 3,000 kids who participate in recreation baseball throughout the year.
"Baseball is not just a sport to us, it's a part of the fabric of who our community is," Lezcano said. "Getting [baseball] engaged in our community would help them greatly."
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