Little Leaguers Welcomed to PHX with Surprise Greeting
For baseball fans, the MLB All-Star game is a fun summer event. For a group of 11 and 12 year-olds from Joplin, Missouri, this yearís All-Star Game means something extra special. On Thursday July 7, a group of youngsters and coaches arrived at Phoenix Sky Harborís Terminal 4 on a Southwest Airlines flight. The group beamed with excitement as they were cheered and welcomed by representatives from the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Major League Baseball Association.
This group was selected to travel to Phoenix and participate in MLB All-Star Game activities such as the All-Star Fan Fest. The children and their parents are coming from a community still recovering from a major natural disaster. On May 22, a tornado destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Joplin. The group known as the Joplin South Little League team will also be playing other teams from around the U.S. in a round-robin tournament.
Other teams participating in the tournament include the Arlington Boys & Girls Club Little League team from Texas that also arrived at PHX on July 7. The teams in the tournament are part of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Programís Junior playing divisions. The programís goal is to give young people from underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball as well as encourage team work and academic success. MLB continues to raise funds and provide awareness for the relief effort of the Joplin tornado victims and those in other areas of the Midwest and Southeast.
Americaís Friendliest Airport welcomes the Joplin South Little League, the Arlington Boys & Girls Club Little League and all other RBI teams to Phoenix for the All-Star festivities.
To see more pictures from this surprise welcome to the Valley of the Sun, visit our Facebook page.
First posted: 7/7/2011