Packing great baseball info into “Home Team”

Sketch by coach Ryan McBride, Out of the Park Sports.

Sketch by coach Ryan McBride, Out of the Park Sports.

I’m currently writing the sequel to Tagged Out; its working title is Home Team. Once again, it’s set in Toronto’s Christie Pits, and features the fictional Toronto Blues baseball team.

Just as with Tagged Out, it’s important that it’s packed with as much expert baseball information as possible.

When fictional Coach Coop talks to the Blues in Home Team, he’ll be giving his team advice that comes right out of the mouth of some real-life baseball coaches. So, readers will be getting that advice as well.

This week, it’s thanks to Ryan McBride, who runs Out of the Park Sports in Toronto. Here’s the scene he sketched out for Chapter 4, which explains how a second baseman–in this case, “Miguel”–should get into position to tag someone trying to steal second.

McBride explained the necessary positioning and footwork to make that play happen. There’s more to it than you might think! Most baseball players will know that, as McBride explained, “the batter who’s up needs to be a right-handed batter, otherwise it would be the shortstop covering second.” But they might not know that before the play, Miguel needs to have moved closer to second base, and that he will have to run over and plant his back foot on the left side of the base, to properly make the tag.

So in Chapter 4 in Home Team, when Coach Coop tells Miguel where to stand, he’ll actually be speaking the words of Ryan McBride.

It’s advice a lot of young baseball players would love to have, but might not be able to access. Thanks to Coach Coop and the Blues–and coaches like Ryan McBride–they soon will.

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Fun literacy activities

Found this great post about “kinesthetic” learning on the This Reading Mama blog.

These activities allow kids to touch and manipulate letters, which helps many kids learn to read faster.

Yes, just like in Gabby!

Day 1: Kinesthetic Activities for Teaching Reading

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