CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Major League Baseball player Morris Madden is clear-eyed about Carolinas Metro Reds, the organization he started 10 years ago helping kids play ball in west Charlotte.
"We're here not to make Major League Baseball players, we're here to make major league citizens," Madden said.
Carolinas Metro Reds makes baseball affordable for underserved and disadvantaged children from ages 4 to 18. But the program also has tutoring and literacy workshops, as well as ACT and SAT study sessions.
The results speak for themselves.
"Nine out of 10 kids that come through our program at least start higher-level education after high school," Madden said.
The Metro Reds play at Tuckaseegee Dream Fields in west Charlotte. Currently, 200 children are involved in the organization, including sixth-grader Isaiah Carter.
"They just really care about you," Carter said. "They don't take you for your skill. They just take you and they elevate."
If you'd like to help out the Carolinas Metro Reds, you can text "DONATE" to 704-329-3600. A single $50 donation supports one player for a full season in the program. WCNC Charlotte will match up to the first $2,000 donated to Carolinas Metro Reds.
In 2020, WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation awarded Carolina Metro Reds a grant, which supported two entire teams for a season of baseball.