Back in mid-May, the first pitch of the 2017 AAU Baseball season in the National Capital Region was thrown as nine 19U AAU travel baseball teams started upon their journey toward the Maryland state capitol, Annapolis. Now, after a 16 game regular season, they are nearing the promised land of the 2017 AAU Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League Championship at Riva Area Park and other Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks fields and area high schools. A weeklong single-elimination baseball tournament follows, and it should be plenty of fun. It should be an exciting continuation of what will be an incredibly intriguing week of AAU baseball.
John Pineau, who is director of AAU Baseball’s Potomac Valley and Maryland Districts, the president of the RBI youth baseball club and league, leads the amateur youth sports initiative that has become an annual fixture that honors, celebrates, inspires, and empowers AAU Baseball athletes, coaches, and volunteers in the National Capital Region.
“We are delighted at RBI to be leading the AAU Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League Championship and league again,” said Pineau, who, in addition to being the commissioner, also is head coach of the Rats 19U team. “I am thrilled to be able to devote my attention to building AAU Baseball and supporting the great cause of improving the lives of youth, our nation’s greatest asset. Along with our many partners like Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks and high school and college coaches, we have a great opportunity to use the sport of amateur baseball to make a profound social impact, and at RBI we are taking full advantage of it.”
Pineau credits RBI colleague Ray Albaugh with the success of the 2017 spring/summer season.
“Launching youth sports endeavors as community service requires tremendous vision and leadership,” said Pineau. “Ray has played a significant role in the development of the AAU Baseball advantage in Maryland and was instrumental in spreading awareness in the community. He has done a phenomenal job organizing and implementing the 2017 season with a great passion for the baseball community and for the mission of our Maryland district in AAU and our RBI club. Throughout his distinguished coaching career, he has been known for his great intellect, big heart and creativity. He is the very best person to work with and take this league and tournament to an exciting new echelon for years to come.”
Since the fall of 2009, RBI has been remarkably successful, positively affecting youth throughout the National Capital Region and notably inspiring students for college. It hosted thousands of games in the region, including more than 1,200 games at Riva Area Park. Numerous RBI and the league’s players have advanced to college baseball and been selected for the summer collegiate baseball leagues, such as the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Collegiate Baseball League Europe, the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League, and the Mid Atlantic Collegiate League.