By: Andrew Mees, Director of Institutional Communications and Campaign Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomfield College freshman baseball pitcher/shortstop Anthony Maldonado (Newark, N.J.) has been named one of 11 recipients of an annual scholarship through Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) initiative, in results released by the organization Aug. 11.
“To receive a scholarship from RBI means everything to me,” said Maldonado. “I have been playing baseball as a part of RBI my entire life, and to be chosen for this scholarship over all of the great players and people I have played with is truly special.”
Funded by Major League Baseball Charities, the award – which is valued at $5,000 per year and can be renewed until a student earns his or her degree – is given annually to high school seniors around the country that participate in RBI baseball and softball programs and allows them to pursue any field of study at a two or four-year institution in the United States or Puerto Rico. Maldonado joined other scholarship recipients in a special ceremony highlighting the initiative at the annual RBI World Series, which was hosted by the MLB’s Texas Rangers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area Aug. 4-15.
A two-time All-Essex County and two-time All-Group selection during his high school career at North 13th Street Tech (a member of the Essex County Vocational Technical Schools and located in Newark), he received the award for his commitment to Newark’s RBI program as a player, coach and umpire during his 12 years as part of the local league.
Raised in a single-parent home in Newark, the family was dealt a serious blow when Maldonado’s mother, Aida, was diagnosed with Lymphoma in April 2013 after battling Lupus for over 15 years. But the trio – Anthony’s older brother, Nelson, is 24 – persevered, and Maldonado used the difficult situation and his mother’s strength as inspiration to excel, eventually earning a partial athletic scholarship to Bloomfield College where he will major in computer science as part of the Class of 2019.
“At first, her being diagnosed was really hard, because I would always be thinking about her and how she was doing,” he said. “But I know how strong she is, and I knew she would pull through it. She taught me that anything is possible, and that you can fight through any type of adversity that comes your way. Those are definitely lessons that have not only helped me on the field as a player, but also in my life.”
“And baseball helped because every teammate and coach I met became a part of my family. Baseball has truly been like my second family, which has helped in both good times and bad. It’s why I love the game as much as I do.”
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is a Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching valuable life lessons. Supported by all of MLB’s 30 clubs, the program has served nearly 2 million children ages 6-18 in over 200 communities since its inception in 1989.
"Major League Baseball’s RBI programs produce quality players that make an impact on the field, in the classroom and in their respective communities, and Anthony certainly fits that bill," said Bears head coach Jeff Watson. "He is a player and person we feel can be part of our program's foundation. He and his family deserve this recognition from RBI and Major League Baseball, and I'm sure it is an honor he will carry with him for the rest of his life."