The Ole Ball Game

~ Base Running, Special Plays To Amp Up Your Running Game! ~

Time to add some excitement to your running game? These base running, special plays are designed to create out of the ordinary situations for the defense, while providing the offense with additional offensive weapons. They fall under the category of making your opponent play the game.

Base Running Tips ~ From the Dugout

base running tips ~ from the dugout

All of these base running, special plays use the element of surprise to create positive offensive outcomes.

Along with the immediate outcomes of the play are the residual gains as the defense now has to be concerned when you will run something special again.

The defense can never settle in as long as there are base runners, which can lead to defensive mental mistakes and physical errors.

While all of the above are positive outcomes, the best benefit of all is that the players truly love to run them, creating a team bond, as everyone on the team can be proficient at these plays.

It takes no special athletic ability to be at the right place, at the right time and at full speed!

Mashed Potatoes

This base running special play becomes a run and bunt, with a safety squeeze.

Action and excitement are created, often times the defense becomes confused. What starts out to look like a standard first and third double steal suddenly takes on the extra problems of a bunted ball, and runner scoring from 3B for the defense.

It is imperitive that the hitter bunt the ball up the first base side, past the pitcher, for the safety squeeze to work. The hitter can get by if the bunt does not get past the pitcher, if he can locate it close to the first base line.

mashed potatoes
  1. Situation: Runners at 1B and 3B, less than two outs.

    • Runner at 1B steals 2B, making sure the pitcher goes to the plate

    • Hitter shows bunt late and bunts the ball up the first base line, past the pitcher. Bunt location and distance is very important. If the pitcher is able to field the bunt, the runner from third will most likely not be able to run. Hitter is bunting strikes, it is not a suicide squeeze. By showing his bunt late, he increases his chances of getting a decent pitch to bunt.

    • Runner at third base reads the bunted ball, then takes off for home, once the ball is on the ground and up the first base line.

  2. Objective: Runner on 3B scores, runner on 1B steals 2B, possibly coming all the way to 3B, and the hitter bunts for a base hit.

Senne Loves Dairy Queen

  1. Situation: Runners on 1B and 3B, less than two outs.

  2. Four Different Scenarios To Pick From, Depending Upon The Sign You Give

    • Senne: Straight steal of 2B.

    • extra long lead, attempting to get picked
    • Loves: Runner at 1B takes an extra long lead attempting to get picked off and get in a rundown, runner at 3B breaks for home either on the long throw from 1B to 2B, or on the middle infielders throw back to 1B. If the pitcher does not attempt the pickoff, steal 2B.

    • Dairy: Delayed steal of 2B. Runner on 3B reads the throw.

    • Queen: Quick break by both runners, as soon as the ball touches the pitchers' glove as he takes his stretch, hoping to create a balk.

  3. Objective On All Four Scenarios: Runner on 3B scores. If he can't score, that you end up with two runners in scoring position.

  4. Signs

    • No indicator necessary, both hands touch cap to alert runners, followed by one touch of the arm in the locations below for which play is on.

    • Touch hand: Senne play.

    • Touch forearm: Loves play.

    • Touch bicep: Dairy play.

    • Touch shoulder: Queen play.

With all of these base running, special plays, you can set up any signal system that works best for your situation. Something meaningful to your players, thus making it easier to remember.


This is a great play to run when you have a runner at 3B, less than two outs, and the batter walks. It works even better when there is a passed ball or wild pitch.

You can also run it when a batter strikes out and there is a passed ball or wild pitch.

It is essential that the batter sprint out of the batters' box to 1B. The best way to insure that will happen is to teach, practice and require that players do that on every walk. With a strikeout, passed ball, or wild pitch, it should be automatic.

The coach will yell GERONIMO, which alerts the runner going to 1B to make his turn and keep going to 2B, hoping to draw the long throw from the catcher. The runner on 3B reads what is happening, and breaks for home at the appropriate time.

If the catcher does not attempt to throw, there are two options:

  1. Continue on to 2B safe.

  2. Stop in between 1B and 2B, to see what can be created. The runner on 3B continues to read what develops.

The worst that should happen is that you end up with two runners in scoring position. The best would be that the runner from 3B scores and the other runner ends up safe at 2B or 3B.

Geronimo is designed to put unexpected pressure on the defense, creating opportunities to score runs, without using the bat.

Make Your Opponent Play The Game!

If your opponents know that you have, believe in and use plays such as these, there is very little opportunity for them to relax when they play you.

That constant threat will lead to defensive mental and physical mistakes on their part.

Once you have built the reputation for creating these base running, special plays situations, they now must spend practice time in preparation to defend all that may be thrown at them. That extra time spent must come from somewhere, thus watering down their preparation.

Success with plays such as these can devastate a defense, often times taking a pitcher out of his rhythum.

If you have never ventured into this realm of the game, I recommend you give it a try. Start with just one play and work it in practice until your players are confident with it, then run it in a game.

Your Players Will Love It, And You Will Also. Baseball Is A Great Game ~ Experience It All, Live It To It's Full Potential!

Additional Topics On This Fun, Yet Overlooked Part Of The Game

Base Running

What gravy is to Thanksgiving, the running game is to baseball.

Home To First

A full out sprint towards first base; REMEMBER, HUSTLE NEVER HAS A BAD DAY.

First To Second

Look immediately to the person giving the signs.

First To Third

The runner needs to think "Coach ~ Base ~ Coach", for his reads.

Second To Third

The base runners first and foremost responsibility is to keep track of the baseball.

Third To Home

For the base runner, this is the exception in leadoffs, as you lead off in foul territory.

Stealing Second

As you step out into your lead, all these feelings intensify as you lock in on that one movement the pitcher is about to make, a movement that will send you speeding towards second base.

Stealing Third

It is often easier to steal third base, than second.

Delayed Steal

Here you are using the element of surprise, a great equalizer.

25 Ways To Score

These 25 ways to score from third base are one reason teams work so hard at getting a runner to third base.

return from baserunning special plays to

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Louisville Sluggers. 1920's

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