Teaching baseball with alien games and singalongs

Courtesy of the Bulldog Ball Club
Credit: Bulldog Ball Club

Kids have been learning the right way to run around a baseball diamond for ages.

But one city organization lets them do it while pretending to be aliens.

The Bulldog Ball Club teaches more than just catching a ball – instructors focus on singing and games to teach America’s pastime.

Founder Steve DeBlasi says he hopes that teaching the fundamentals in ways that focus more on the fun of the sport sticks with players.

“As they grow older, teaching the older players would be a lot easier,” he says. “I had worked with a lot of older kids and noticed that it was always harder to unlearn something.”

DeBlasi grew up playing baseball, hoping to play professionally until he suffered an injury. In 2003, he started teaching private sessions, which expanded to group lessons.

“We really saw a need for the younger players,” he says, “because everybody can teach the older guys how to play baseball.”

Their classes are for children ages 3 to 10. Younger students require more creativity, he notes.

“If they want to be aliens or monsters running around the bases,” that’s fine, he says, “just something that’s age appropriate for the 4- and 5-year-olds, as opposed to telling a 4- to 5-year-old, ‘You need to run to this base.’”

They tell children instead, for example, that they are a train going through a station, and they can’t move on until another train is ready for the station – that’s when they can run to the next base.

Instructors teach the same mechanics of the game, he adds, but in different ways – a singalong about how to learn the bases, for example, or a game modeled on “Duck, Duck Goose” that is instead “Ball, Ball Strike.”

“They’re just having fun,” he says. “And at the end of the day, or the end of the season, they realize, now they know the rules.”

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison


Federal prosecutors charge 3 men in multi-million dollar…

Federal prosecutors in New York charged three men in connection with a $33 million fine art scam that spanned more than two decades.


Metro-North unveils solar-powered kiosks at Bronx station

The Woodlawn station will take part a pilot program to test solar-powered kiosk with real-time arrival and departure times for connecting services.


Central Park's Tavern on the Green to reopen…

The famous Central Park restaurant Tavern on the Green will once again welcome diners on Thursday, April 24 after its closure in January 2010.


University of New Mexico running back arrested for…

By Joseph J. KolbALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a…


John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.


Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.


Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.


MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.


Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.


How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.


Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.


Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.


Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.