COLORADO SPRINGS — Junior Josh Kates at Air Academy High School loves the sport of baseball so much that he created the nonprofit Equality at the Plate, so all kids have a chance to enjoy it too.

Kates grew up an avid baseball fan and started playing the sport at 5 years old. He learned through playing little league, and now umping games himself, he said he noticed the socioeconomic inequalities in baseball.

“I saw the huge role that money played in baseball,” Kates said. “It really wasn’t about how hard you worked, but how much money you had… If you want to play baseball, I want to make it possible. I want you to have equipment and money and anything you need as long as you want to play.”

Kates founded the nonprofit in July, and has since raised more than $1,000 in donations. He has already donated equipment to two local high schools.

“It was really gratifying,” he said. “It’s why you do stuff like this, so it was really good to actually see that and actually say ‘hey I gave to this person and it’s going to help them.'”

While Equality at the Plate aims to fund any kind of cost associated with baseball, including registration fees, equipment, and travel, Kates ultimately wants to give others the opportunity to play the game he loves too.

“I think I just see so much athleticism and talent in kids that just don’t play baseball and I love baseball so much that I just want to see the best competition,” he said. “I just want to see anybody play that wants to.”

If you’d like to donate to Kates’ foundation, head to