Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira signs autographs at the annual Bids for Kids Gala in support of Harlem RBI.


NEW YORK - On Monday, June 4, a group of 800 Harlem RBI fans gathered at Cipriani 42nd Street and raised over $2 ½ million in support of the program’s goals. Started 21 years ago to provide inner-city youth with the opportunity to play, learn and grow, Harlem RBI serves more than 1,200 boys and girls annually with its unique brand of sports-based youth developmental and educational programs.  Harlem RBI’s DREAM Charter School, now in its fourth year of operation, is producing a new generation of lifelong learners.


The annual Bids for Kids Gala held at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Mark Teixeira, the Yankees’ first baseman, a stellar supporter of this endeavor who has already committed $1 million to the group, was on hand to stimulate the bidding in the live auction.  Working as an assisting auctioneer he modeled his own game-worn and, importantly, unwashed “throwback” jersey, worn in the game to celebrate 100 years at Fenway Park this April, an occasion upon which the Yankees took care of the Red Sox handily. Extensive bidding took the price of this exotic piece of memorabilia to $20,000.  “Go, Yankees!”

Mark Teixeira sports his game-worn throwback jersey auctioned off to support Harlem RBI.


With their “field of dreams” baseball field in the center of East Harlem, created on an abandoned lot and a model of its kind, local children are inspired to join in this transformational experience.  A fundraising campaign is well underway to finance a huge new center, which will combine all aspects of the program: baseball, school, community facilities and affordable housing for local families.

The school choir as they take the stage to sing Wake Up Everybody

At the beginning of the evening, the enthusiastic school choir sang their lively rendition of John Legend’s Wake Up Everybody, including the action-inspiring lyrics:  “The world won’t get no better if we just let it be…We gotta change it yeah, just you and me.”  Harlem RBI is making the changes that count in East Harlem – a grand slam for the future.