European Baseball

European Baseball

Versions of Baseball and Rounders are played throughout Northern and Northwestern Europe. Other than Rounders played in Britain and Ireland, Welsh Baseball (also known as English Baseball in Liverpool or British Baseball) is like a cross between Baseball, Rounders and Cricket. It is primarily played in South Wales and Liverpool. Other versions of Baseball include Pesäpallo, which is Finland’s National Sport and Brännboll, a traditional game of Sweden.

Welsh Baseball

Welsh Baseball is a version of Rounders played primarily in South Wales, and also in Liverpool, where it is known as English Baseball. It is like a cross between Baseball, Rounders and Cricket. During the latter half of the 19th Century, the famous A.G. Spalding of Major League Baseball fame organised a Baseball Tour of England and Ireland, and in the process played a number of games against English and Welsh Rounders teams, who adopted some of the rules (such as tagging a playerout with the ball and two-handed batting). It kept the poles rather than flat bases and left the diamond in an irregular shape with all four sides unequal in length. Welsh Baseball also has a bat more like a Cricket Bat than a Baseball Bat, and it tapers towards the handle. According to sources in referenced in the articles below, Irish immigrants to Liverpool and South Wales were numerous among the Working Classes playing the game in the 20th Century. It is still played in South Wales and Liverpool but is now mostly a Children’s and Teenagers Game.

Scandinavian Baseball

Scandinavian Baseball (Pesäpallo, Brännboll) are Baseball games that are closer to Rounders than the Modern American Sport, and although Pesapallo (Finland’s National Sport) has been modernised a great deal, the other Scandinavian versions of the sport (e.g. Brännboll) are very much still traditional sports like Rounders and would undoubtedly have the same roots.

Finnish Pesäpallo

Pesäpallo is the Finnish version of Baseball and is their National Sport. It has an unusual form of pitching and players run zig-zags through bases. There is a game played on their National Holiday every year at the Finnish Embassy in Ireland.

Here is a Video of the sport from the New York Times, as shared by the Irish-Finnish Society on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IrishFinnishSociety/posts/1326676680678956 [Accessed 27 June 2019]

Swedish Brännboll

Brännboll is a traditional Swedish game similar to Baseball and Rounders. The Brännboll Cup, sometimes known as Brännboll World Cup is held every year at the Brännbollsryan Music Festival at Umea, the largest Music Fesitival in Northern Sweden.