A former Bayonne High School pitching star is combining his love of baseball and technology into one effort, a smart-phone application called “Fun Go Golf,” his take on the real-life game that baseball players play during down time. The name comes form fungo, a type of bat used for drills in baseball.
“This is a pitchers’ pastime, which has been played for years all over the country,” Young said. “It’s a mixture between golf and baseball; it’s played with the same structure as golf as far as keeping score, teeing off, and putting. But it’s played on a baseball field with a bat and baseball.”
Unlike golf, players don’t aim for holes on the field. They attempt to hit certain objects on the field, whether it is a sign on a fence or a water cooler in a dugout.
“Once you hit that object, you have made your hole and it’s on to the next one,” Young said. “You can either play nine or 18 holes. At the end of the game, the player with the least amount of strokes wins, just like in golf.”
Young knows all about finding things to do between starting ballgames. He was a pitcher of note for the Bayonne Bees as well as the William Paterson University Pioneers.
“Last year, one hour before practice, my teammates were playing the Fun Go Golf,” Young said. “I was sitting there thinking, ‘Wow, this would be a great video game or app.”
He did some research and found out there was no video game like it yet on the market.
Young developed his plans for the game, including the designs of all the playing fields, and a lot more.
“I had to come up with how I wanted the game to be played from the moment you download it until the game’s over,” he said.
Friends and investors
Young then tried to enlist the free help of his friends to design the game. But it didn’t work out exactly as planned; all his buddies were pretty busy. So now it was on to the backup plan.
“Plan B was to get investors for it and have a professional team create it,” he said.
For the investor part, he “bugged” his college baseball coach for four months until he said yes. And the coach agreed at that point for one big reason.
“He actually played the [fungo golf] game when he was in college,” Young said. “It was pretty easy for me to explain. I told him my vision, and he said, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’”
He connected with the Acazo Corp. of Huntington, N.Y., and his invention is well on its way.
Young’s app is heading toward the end of its preliminary design stages, with his creative team working out the drawings of various cartoon-like characters and ballparks.
“It’s in its beta version,” he said.
Seeing his enterprise through to fruition is the perfect challenge for Young, who receives his business management degree on May 14.
‘The Faa’ & the ‘kid’
At one point in the game, a face familiar to Hudson County sports fans turns up as a character, that of the late baseball scout Ed “The Faa” Ford driving a golf cart.
“That guy was like a father to me, and I thought it would be awesome to put him into the game as the coach,” Young said. “So when users hit the help button, The Faa is the one explaining how to play the game.”
Young has a lot of rooters hoping his game will be well received.
“He’s a very good kid and very ingenious,” said Hudson Reporter sportswriter Jim Hague.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at: JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.