During All-Star Week, the week of events surrounding the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix, Major League Baseball hosted the third annual Jr. RBI Classic for children ages 11 and 12 years. Games were played at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, on the Arizona Diamondbacks side of the facility, and at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale. Nine baseball teams and four softball teams played in the tournament, from the Diamondbacks, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and San Francisco, Indiana, Alabama, Delaware, North Carolina and Missouri leagues. All teams got a chance to experience what it’s like to play on the major league fields.
The Salt River D-Backs team was composed of players from several Community teams. The players wore Arizona Diamondbacks jerseys during their games, and their first game was against the Pirates, a team from the Play Ball Indiana league.
Community member Eric Makil pitched the first inning and right away started to strike out the Pirates batters. But throughout the game, the humidity was heavy on the field and many of the players had a tough time; the Pirates team noticed and took full advantage, scoring runs one right after another. The final score was Pirates 12, Diamondbacks 2. The Pirates have been members of the RBI since 1997.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation partnered together to host the event.