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


Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.


Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.


Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…


U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…


Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.


Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…