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


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.