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Delrisha from Detroit, MI

Meet Delrisha Hayes, a Detroit-area nonprofit founder and lifelong baseball fan.

4 min read
09/04/2021
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Meet Delrisha Hayes, a Detroit-area nonprofit founder and lifelong baseball fan.

Delrisha Hayes started "At Bat," a nonprofit camp that blends baseball and education to help kids create a more hopeful future. Dashing gives her the flexibility to run after-school programs and also earn money for badly-needed sports equipment. People say sports are in their blood, but for Delrisha, it goes so much deeper. Her favorite memories growing up were playing baseball with her dad. She credits him with how those days practicing her home run swing opened her heart and mind to the world around her. What sports mean to most kids—family, tradition, and fields of dreams—meant something different for Delrisha and her friends. She said her hometown of urban Detroit was one of many where crime, jail, and absent parents were common: “...that whole father/son thing of throwing the baseball in the front yard... that was diminished and destroyed.”

“I wanted to create an organization where I made baseball free for youth and their parents.”

Delrisha noticed that African-American participation in baseball had been declining for years. While researching sports programs for her nephew, she discovered very few were aimed at urban kids. Unable to find a job in sports, she decided to turn her passion for baseball into an opportunity not just for herself, but for others.

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"At Bat" was born that day, and she dreamed of showing kids how baseball, and the life lessons it teaches, could lead to a more hopeful future.

When Delrisha first said “Play Ball!”, the kids played in the back of apartment buildings, and she’d rent out any space she could. “We just take whatever space I’m given and maximize it. The dream is to get a permanent facility, indoor batting cages in the city of Detroit.”

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Dashing gives Delrisha time to invest in her dream, manage her school schedule, and plan At-Bat’s programs. For her, the typical 9-5 job would be a roadblock for pursuing her passion. But being her own boss allows her to earn when she can: “I can go after school and do my program. But I’ve still made my money from dashing.”

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