The Rhode Island Baseball Institute (RIBI) is an indoor baseball training and development facility located at 2011 Post Rd., Warwick. For over 25 years, RIBI has provided youth baseball players in Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts with a clean, safe baseball environment in which to learn the game of baseball the right way. In the process, the players develop baseball skills but also sportsmanship, leadership, and a strong sense of family.
I received an email from David Roy of the Ocean State Bandits this fall inviting me to visit the Rhode Island Baseball Institute and meet some of the key staff members. David is taking over the operations aspect of the RIBI, which includes running the day to day operations of the business, prospecting local leagues for camps and facility use, and managing the showcase portion of the newly formed RIBI/Bandits merger. During my visit, I got to sit down and talk baseball with longtime owner John Mello and Bandits coach Jorge Gaspar. It was a fascinating hour of spirited conversation about the game of baseball, coaching, and how RIBI strives to make players better on the field and strong community leaders off the field.
The three coaches – David Roy, John Mello, and Jorge Gaspar – all play a vital role in the success of the RIBI programs. David labeled John the driving force behind the RIBI instructional and coaching programs. Mello, a former professional baseball player who has been at RIBI since 1992, is a proven baseball coach who provides expert structure, instruction, and leadership for both players and coaches. Gaspar, according to David, is the heartbeat of the organization. “He cares about every kid, no matter what ability they are or where they came from. He lets the families know their kid will be treated like family here at RIBI and The Bandits program,” stated David. As for David Roy, he labels himself the brains of the operation, running the business, promoting the business in create ways, and engaging the RIBI families past and present to establish a solid future for the organization.
One thing I found interesting was the humble nature of the coaches I interviewed. When you walk into the facility, you cannot help but notice the photographs of players who have benefited from the Rhode Island Baseball Institute. Players who have gone on to play college baseball, some even professional baseball. There was a really cool section of the building that had jerseys with the player’s name and year they were drafted into Major League Baseball who had trained at RIBI. And yet, the coaches really wanted to focus the interview on how they can make baseball better here in Rhode Island today and for the foreseeable future. They would mention players by first name like Chris or Sean or Manny or Kenny but only to remember a drill that worked or a goal that was achieved with hard work. It wasn’t to trumpet the fact that they have trained so many MLB players and I respect the character of that.
As for the facility, it just oozes baseball from every mound, pitching machine, bucket of balls, and every square inch of turf. There are stations after stations lined up throughout the facility for soft toss, tee work, live pitching, machine pitching, and more. A kid can get 50, 100, 150 swings against a wide range of pitching options during a routine training session. Dirt mounds along with traditional indoor mounds offer some variety for pitchers working with the expert staff at RIBI. Individual cages are set up for catchers, infield work, long toss, and more. There is a strength training section with free weights and cardio machines. The Rhode Island Baseball Institute is baseball ready year round for players, leagues, and coaches to practice and get better at baseball.
It was a truly incredible Rhode Island Baseball Experience visiting the Rhode Island Baseball Institute. The RIBI has been providing youth baseball players, leagues, and coaches with quality instruction for over 25 years running. Coaches David Roy, John Mello, and Jorge Gaspar do an amazing job of developing players skills on and off the field. The facility is an incredible resource for an individual player or an entire baseball league/organization looking to get better at baseball. Whether you are a 10 year old moving up to Majors or a 17 year old looking to get drafted into “The Majors,” the Rhode Island Baseball Institute is a trusted resource to prepare you for the next step in your baseball career.
Thanks again to David Roy, John Mello, Jorge Gaspar and all the staff at the Rhode Island Baseball Institute for inviting me to your facility. Here is how you can contact RIBI to learn more:
Website – www.ribibaseball.com
Facebook – RIBI Baseball