Redbird Rookies is a baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. This special league, sponsored by Cardinals Care, provides kids with uniforms, gloves, bats, balls, and other equipment, as well as extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring, and cultural arts. Currently Redbird Rookies has over 20 leagues, serving nearly 4,500 kids in the St. Louis/Metro area, and parts of rural Missouri and Illinois.
Children of our community have benefited from Cardinals Care with the consistent commitment from the St. Louis Cardinals Ownership Group, Cardinals players, Cardinals sponsors, and thousands of Cardinals fans. Cardinals Care is the team's community foundation that cares for kids. Since 1997, Cardinals Care has cared for kids by building youth baseball fields, supporting youth baseball, and funding children's organizations and youth agencies. Over $18 million has been distributed to help kids, primarily in the areas of health, education, mentoring, recreation, and cultural arts.
In 2004, Redbird Rookies was formed to allow kids to play baseball free of charge. Rawlings, a major contributor and supporter of Cardinals Care, donates and discounts most of the equipment and uniforms for any child who wants to play in Redbird Rookies. In addition, Cardinals Care provides training so that coaches and organizers can learn innovative coaching/character building techniques that are essential to the program. Parents also take part in workshops that teach the philosophy of the league so that there is support on every level.
Central to Redbird Rookies is instructional play. Keeping score and winning are secondary to the life lessons that can be learned as part of a team on the ball field. Redbird Rookies works to instill the values of teamwork, integrity, self-esteem, and leadership in the "classroom" of a baseball setting. Redbird Rookies players have a plethora of off-field activities to participate in during the summer! Such events include an interactive Health Fair, a specialized summer reading program, and concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri also partners with Cardinals Care to match Redbird Rookies in one-to-one relationships with caring adult mentors.
Cardinals Care also gives cash grants that are combined with complimentary Cardinals tickets, player ticket programs, Cardinals player involvement and other Cardinals resources to serve as rewards or incentives for supporting kids off the field.
Because Cardinals Care cares so much for kids, a very ambitious approach was taken to assure that every resource at our disposal is utilized to benefit kids.
In a partnership with area public libraries, Redbird Rookies players are encouraged to read over the summer. Depending upon how much they read, they have the opportunity to win prizes such as a backpack and school supplies. Also, if an entire team reaches a certain level of reading, they are entered into a drawing for a chance to play a game at Busch Stadium or to have a practice with a current Cardinals player. Players such as Skip Schumaker and Ryan Franklin have been featured players for the Readers Program.
The Redbird Rookies Fairs focus on exposing kids to various activities in the areas of health and education. All children that attend the Fairs have the opportunity to receive hearing, vision, asthma, and dental screenings. They receive health and nutrition information from various partners, and also have the opportunity to receive a free bike helmet and fitting. The Fairs are a great opportunity for children and parents to expose themselves to new and valuable information.
Each year Redbird Rookies partners with The Sheldon Concert Hall for an exclusive musical performance for Redbird Rookies families. This interactive concert exposes the children to an area of music that they might not be familiar with. Tying baseball in to the performance, playing in an ensemble also requires practice, improvisation, and teamwork!
Schnucks teams up with Redbird Rookies every year to provide healthy food options for Redbird Rookies families. Each player receives a coupon book that can be used at any area Schnucks store. Kids who return their proof-of-purchases are put into a drawing for free Cardinals tickets or free food from Schnucks. The Grand prize winner receives a $250 Schnucks gift card and the opportunity to meet a current Cardinals player the following season. In past years, Yadier Molina, Skip Schumaker and David Freese have been the featured player for the program. The 2012 featured player is Matt Holliday.
Redbird Rookies offers a scholarship to students who have completed the 7th grade and have just participated in the Redbird Rookies youth baseball league. This scholarship supports the Redbird Rookies Scholar's post secondary education.
The $5,000 scholarship will be distributed after high school in equal parts for up to four years to support the Redbird Rookies Scholar at the accredited college or post secondary training program of his or her choice. Up to ten new Redbird Rookies Saigh Scholarships are awarded each year. Through a partnership with College Bound, recipients of the Saigh Scholarship receive academic support throughout high school and college.
The scholarship is named after Fred Saigh, owner of the Cardinals from 1947-1953, in recognition of the Saigh Foundation's generous support to Cardinals Care.
Redbird Rookies is a volunteer supported program. If you are interested in being a general volunteer or a coach at one of the area leagues please call the contact person for the specific league that is closest to you. A list of the leagues can be found in "Redbird Rookies Leagues".
Redbird Rookies is offered to kids ages 5-13. If you have a child who would be interested in joining one of the leagues, please call the league closest to your area.
|League (By zip code)||Contact||Phone|
|Berkeley, City of (63134)||Cheryl Thompsonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Beyond Housing-Pagedale (63133)||Ted Simpson||314-862-0639 email@example.com|
|Christian Activity Center, East St. Louis (62201)||Archie Parkerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|City Recreation, STL (63104)||Charles Tysonemail@example.com|
|COVAM-Murphy Park (63106)||Lisa Weaksfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Decatur Park District (62522)||Jamie Davisemail@example.com|
|Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis - Adams Park Unit (63110)||Delah Jonesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis - East Middle (63138)||Dar'Rell Walkeremail@example.com|
|Jennings, City of (63136)||Cindy Tharpfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kingdom House (63104)||Sonchez Johnson||314-421-0400 email@example.com|
|Madison, IL (62060)||James Gardner, Jr.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mathews-Dickey (63115)||Joyce Jonesemail@example.com|
|Normandy (63121)||Tony Evans||314-385-3300 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Northwoods, City of (63121)||Edna Williamsemail@example.com|
|Pacific, MO||Dan Klundfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sesser (IL) (62883)||Audra Batesemail@example.com|
|St. Louis CAN (63120)||Pamela Boydfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Trinity Church (63031)||Willie Bunchemail@example.com|
|University City (63130)||Diarra Morrisfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wellston (63133)||Tim Brightemail@example.com|
We are no longer accepting new leagues for the 2013 season. If you are interested in hosting a Redbird Rookies League in your neighborhood in 2014, please click below to download an application and send to the Cardinals no later than October 31, 2013.
Download application »
Please mail the information to:
Questions, Comments? Contact Us!
Redbird Rookies Hotline: 314-345-9883.
Redbird Rookies email: firstname.lastname@example.org