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 20 leagues, serving nearly 4,000 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 $12.3 million have 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.
It's more than just baseball! In an effort to support kids off the field,
Cardinals Care works to build partnerships between the baseball organizations and non-profit organizations that support kids in the areas of health, education, mentoring, and cultural arts. In 2005, Cardinals Care established the Redbird Rookies Saigh Scholarship. This college scholarship will be held for the recipients until after they graduate from high school, and then the recipient will use the scholarship to aid them in attending the school of their choice. The Redbird Rookies Readers Program, partners with area public libraries to encourage kids to read during the summer. Depending on how many books each team reads there is the chance for kids to earn the chance to play a game on the field at Busch Stadium, an experience that a child will never forget.
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.