Ripken Quickball

History of "Quick Baseball"

Ripkens and MackiesMichelle Obama plays Quickball

Recognizing a need for an inclusive grass roots baseball program, brothers Chris and Keith Mackie developed and introduced “Quick Baseball” in the late 1990s. The name was soon shortened to “Quickball” (at the insistence of their dad, Russell) and a sport was born.

Quickball addressed the perception that baseball was too slow and inactive for today’s young people by promoting fast-paced action, total player involvement and constant teamwork.

Quickball began as a college intramural sport at N.C. State University. It grew nationally through a series of state directors tournaments at National Intramural Recreational Sports Association conferences in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Cal Ripken, Sr. FoundationLooking to expand Quickball into public school and after-school programs, the Mackies approached Hall of Fame baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr. in 2002. At that time, Ripken, along with younger brother Bill, had just started a youth initiative by founding Ripken Baseball and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. Intrigued by the Quick Baseball mission, the Ripkens tested and subsequently endorsed the program after summer campers consistently rated it as one of the most fun activities at Ripken Baseball camps.

Now in its eighth year as the official grass roots sport of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Quickball has become the number one recreational baseball program in the country. Over 700 school PE and after-school programs have been created, including many that serve at-risk youth living in distressed urban areas.

Quickball has been featured by CNN Headline News, New York Times Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Scholastic Magazine, Wired Magazine and numerous local and regional media outlets due to its revolutionary game concepts and innovative game equipment.

Quickball has also been used by the U.S. State Department as a baseball teaching tool for school children in China and in Central America. In 2010, Quickball was featured at Camden Yards in Baltimore as part of the Let’s Move program — a campaign against childhood obesity that was created by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Throughout the growth of Quickball, Chris Mackie is quick to note that the mission has never changed.
“Our goal has always been to give anyone — regardless of skill level, playing experience or socioeconomic background — the chance to play and learn baseball in a grass roots setting that is inclusive, success-based and, most of all, fun.”