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Cardinals Care Redbird Rookies

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.

Thank you for your interest in Redbird Rookies!

Redbird Rookies Overview

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.

Redbird Rookies Events/Programs
Redbird Rookies Readers Program

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.

Redbird Rookies Fairs

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.

Sheldon Concert Hall Performance

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!

Redbird Rookies/Schnucks Healthy Eater & Healthy Shopper Program

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 Saigh Scholarship

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.

Volunteer/Coaching Opportunities

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 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 Email
Berkeley, City of (63134) Cathy Davis 314-400-3703 cathydavis@ci.berkeley.mo.us
Beyond Housing-Pagedale (63133) Ted Simpson 314-862-0639 x13 tsimpson@beyondhousing.org
Boys & Girls Club STL (63107) Delah Jones 314-335-8204 delah@bgcstl.org
Christian Activity Center, East St. Louis (62201) Archie Parker 618-874-5615 archie@cacesl.org
City Recreation, STL (63104) Charles Tyson 314-589-6142 ctyson102006@aol.com
COVAM (63106) Ronald York 314-757-0537 ronald.york@urbanstrategiesinc.org
Decatur Park District (62522) Dakota Getz 217-429-3472 dgetz@decparks.com
Grandview Athletic Association (63023) Dan Peterson 636-586-4500 cederhillfence@sbcglobal.net
Jackie-Joyner Kersee (62204) Mike Greenfield 618-274-5437 mgreenfield@jjkfoundation.org
Jennings Rec Dept. (63136) Cindy Tharp 314-388-3040 tharp_cindy@yahoo.com
Kingdom House (63104) Sonchez Johnson 314-814-6979 sonchez@kingdomhouse.org
Madison, IL (62060) James Gardner, Jr. 314-232-2618 james.a.gardner-jr@boeing.com
Mathews-Dickey (63115) Joyce Jones 314-679-5251 jjones@mathews-dickey.com
Normandy (63121) Tony Evans 314-610-8459 cydneydad3@charter.net
Northwoods, City of (63121) Edna Williams 314-852-6228 jfuller31496@gmail.com
Pacific, MO (63069) Robert Curry 314-691-5117 bobbycurry@charter.net
Sesser (IL) (62883) Jordan McMurray 618-201-8317  
St. Louis Dream Center (63115) Kevin Getter 785-226-1880 kgetter@stldreamcenter.org
YDL/Trinity (63031) Willie Bunch 314-605-9875 we_bunch@yahoo.com
University City (63130) Lee Joe Johnson 314-496-9338 johnson.lee1427@gmail.com
Wellston (63133) Tim Bright 314-532-3952 hitrightbybright@gmail.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:

  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • 700 Clark
  • St. Louis, MO 63102
  • ATTN: Redbird Rookies
 

Questions, Comments? Contact Us!

Redbird Rookies Hotline: 314-345-9883.
Redbird Rookies email: redbirdrookies@cardinals.com