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Spanning the globe to find new baseball playing countries
2008-01-06 11:51
by Bob Timmermann

A group from MLB that included Reggie Smith is touring Ghana to introduce the sport to that West African nation. The article hints that the 2006 World Baseball Classic didn't get much notice in Ghana as the 2009 WBC is described as being new. But it is possible that the people in Ghana missed the WBC championship game because they were all caught up in the Notre Dame-Michigan NIT game that ESPN showed that ran into the time for the WBC.

Meanwhile, in Fiji, baseball is going to be introduced into the school system in hopes of making the island nation competitive with regional powerhouse Australia.

2008-01-06 15:42:14
1.   Johnny Nucleo
I was in East Jerusalem a few years back and while walking through a small village on the Mount of Olives, witnessed first-hand some youths with very strong and accurate arms. Their stones didn't hit me, but landed with great precision about five feet in front of wherever I was standing.
Of course this is probably all in bad taste, so I'll stop now.
2008-01-06 20:38:47
2.   JL25and3
Ah, but none of that can compare with Finnish baseball - pesäpallo, the national sport of Finland, first introduced in 1920 by Lauri "Grindstone" Pihkala.

Pihkala did make a few changes in the rules. In pesäpallo (or simply pesis), the pitcher stands at home plate, opposite the batter, and throws the ball up in the air for the batter to hit. If the batter takes the pitch and it doesn't fall on home plate, it's a ball. Two balls allow the lead runner to advance; if there are no baserunners, one ball is a walk.

If the batter hits the ball he runs to first base, which is located between home plate and third base. A fly ball that's caught isn't an out for the batter, though any runners who are not on their base are "wounded." Any ball hit over the outfield fence is a foul.

There are only two outfielders, but there are also two shortstops. In addition to the nine batters, each team has three "jokers," who are allowed to bat once each inning.


2008-01-06 20:45:32
3.   das411
Wooooah...Bob, how did you know I'm about halfway through "Spalding's World Tour"???
2008-01-06 22:49:36
4.   fordprefect
So, kind of like blernsball, right?
2008-01-07 09:50:03
5.   JL25and3
4 But real. The first time I heard about it, I thought it was an elaborate hoax...but it's an even more elaborate reality.

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