Prince Harry Teams Up with Yankees for Charity
By Justin McGrail
Prince Harry of Wales showed off his skills at Harlem RBI’s “Field of Dreams” to celebrate the organization’s new partnership with The Royal Foundation. New York Yankees first basemen and Harlem RBI board member Mark Teixeira tossed batting-practice pitches for the royal and said he was very impressed with Prince Harry’s skills.
“He knew what he was doing,” Teixeira said. “He played some cricket growing up and has seen American baseball. He’s a natural.”
In addition to taking pitches from Teixiera, Prince Harry took part in baseball drills with RBI students, who said they were surprised to actually play ball with royalty.
“He’s a prince,” commented Jolita Brettler, a fourth grader at Harlem RBI’s DREAM Charter School. “Who would think that a prince is going to play baseball? Princes are usually in a castle or doing something important.”
Harlem RBI’s partnership with The Royal Partnership includes a partnership with Project Coach, which is aimed at improving the coaching staff for Harlem RBI and increasing the number of summer participants. The organization is projected to expand later this summer from Harlem to include the South Bronx.
The “Field of Dreams” ballfield Prince Harry and Teixeira visited is the flagship project of Harlem RBI, as it was transformed in 1991 from an abandoned lot on the corner of 101st Street and 1st Avenue into a natural grass baseball field.
Harlem RBI’s program extends beyond athletics, as it targets improved academic performance from its participants as well. Since 2005, 97 percent of RBI seniors have graduated high school and 94 percent of seniors were accepted into college.