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  • Pesapallo

    I am part Finnish and was shocked to learn there is a "Finnish Baseball"...actually more like slowpitch softball to me, but, whatever.
    Looks like this sport was developed in the 1920s, well after my father's ancestors came to the US...a Finnish track athlete watched a baseball game while visiting the US and decided it needed more action.
    I did a quick search on this site and found a couple of quick mentions...here are a couple of videos, the first is a brief intro from the WSJ and the second is long with lots of game action. Note that the Finnish pesapallo championship series is called the "Superpesis".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_navSFGj0I

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtnWNDp6tjA

    The ball is delivered vertically over a round plate by the pitcher and must make it 1m over the batter's head and hit the plate to be a called strike. The batter walks on only one ball, which I guess makes sense that it's not too hard to throw strikes. The batter is also not obliged to run when he hits a fair ball and will often make hits solely to advance baserunners until he is down to his last strike. A ball that it hit past the boundaries of the rectangular playing field is foul, so power hitting is not nearly as important as in US baseball. I believe the batter can only advance 3 bases on a hit (no HRs, a triple is the max).
    The basepath is zigzag between the 4 bases and the runners will often dive all out headfirst to try to beat throws. Place hitting, fielding, and aggressive baserunning seem to be the keys to the game...a lumbering Papi type player is not likely to be valuable in pesapallo. Not very many pitches are taken and the game looks rather frantic compared to baseball...I enjoy watching it!
    I would love to pick up some pesapallo equipment, but cannot find it for sale anywhere online. I emailed a Finnish company with an online catalog but no ordering mechanism and haven't received a reply in two weeks...it may just be that me using English is the problem, but anybody who knows Finns also knows that they are not the most communicative bunch.
    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

  • #2
    Other weird stuff: the batter can take off as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher's hand - you can literally steal first base. And the bases get farther apart as you advance - 20 meters home to first, 30 first to second, 38 second to third, and 45 (147 ft!) third to home.

    "The creation of pesapallo ... was prompted by the demonstrations of American baseball in Scandinavia after the Stockholm Olympic Games of 1912. The Finns were concerned to produce and establish a ball game that would foster sprinting. They felt that the 'no hits no runs' paragon of baseball would not suit their national temperament; and they also sought a game which would encourage movement. ... After a decade of experiment and planning chiefly by Professor Lauri Pihkala, the shape and rules of pesapallo were launched in 1922. ... by the 1970s, there were between 5,000 and 6,000 registered teams ..."

    from the Oxford Companion to World Sports and Games, 1975.

    Can't help with equipment or anything. Maybe contact the nearest Finnish consulate?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
      I would love to pick up some pesapallo equipment, but cannot find it for sale anywhere online. I emailed a Finnish company with an online catalog but no ordering mechanism and haven't received a reply in two weeks...it may just be that me using English is the problem, but anybody who knows Finns also knows that they are not the most communicative bunch.
      The President of the Finnish baseball federation is an American named Tony Jones, perhaps he can help you. here is his Twitter page:
      https://twitter.com/senoj_ynot
      Last edited by SouthwestAmAZins; 01-16-2017, 12:40 PM.

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      • #4
        I got a response from a Finnish pesapallo supplier with an online catalog informing me that they could not ship internationally at this point, but they were planning to have that ability sometime in the future. At least they replied to me!

        Not sure how I would get in touch with Tony Jones, that BaseballUnited website appears to be defunct. I'm sure he's aware of pesapallo, but might tell me just to play baseball, instead!
        ;^)
        "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm lifelong Pesapallo fan from Finland and glad to see people in other countries enjoying our national sport. If you want to ask anything about Pesapallo, I try to answer the best I can.

          Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
          ...here are a couple of videos, the first is a brief intro from the WSJ and the second is long with lots of game action. Note that the Finnish pesapallo championship series is called the "Superpesis".

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_navSFGj0I .
          Video is related to WSJ pesapallo article


          The ball is delivered vertically over a round plate by the pitcher and must make it 1m over the batter's head
          1m over pitcher's head and it's minimum. No top limit.

          I believe the batter can only advance 3 bases on a hit (no HRs, a triple is the max).
          Triple is counted as homerun. After homerun, you can stay at 3rd base and be ready to advance extra run.


          I would love to pick up some pesapallo equipment, but cannot find it for sale anywhere online.
          Sorry but I can't help you right now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
            I would love to pick up some pesapallo equipment, but cannot find it for sale anywhere online. I emailed a Finnish company with an online catalog but no ordering mechanism and haven't received a reply in two weeks...it may just be that me using English is the problem, but anybody who knows Finns also knows that they are not the most communicative bunch.
            I emailed to pesäpallo top brand equipment manufacturer if they know retailer which have online shop to sell abroad. I didn't get response.

            Second best brand glove and ball are for sale Tackla's online shop.
            http://www.tackla.com/shop/finnish-baseball.html

            Pesäpallo World Cup will be played 20-24. July 2017. According to first WC newsletter team US signed up for event first time ever.
            http://www.pesis.fi/world-cup-2017/

            Comment


            • #7
              Pesäpallo regular season 2017 have started. Played games are recorded one steady camera and can be found page https://vimeo.com/superpesis

              Pesäpallo rules in english.

              Ready to help if any questions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Men teams participating to Pesäpallo World Cup 20.-24. July 2017:
                Finland, two teams
                Estonia
                Germany
                Switzerland
                Australia
                India
                USA

                Match schedule

                The All-Star Game stream is available, hopefully worldwide. Game starts after 20 min. Speakers in Finnish.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Day 1, Thuerday games / results
                  Finland/East - Australia 11-2
                  India - Estonia 3-22
                  Finland/West - Germany 14-3
                  Switzerland - USA 11-4

                  Day 2, Friday games / results
                  Estonia - Finland/East 4-11
                  Finland/West - Switzerland 16-5
                  Germany - USA 25-4
                  Australia - India 18-2

                  Day 3, Saturday games / results
                  Finland/East - India 9-7
                  Australia - Estonia 9-2
                  USA - Finland/West 5-9 (mixed teams)
                  Switzerland - Germany 2-11

                  Estonia - Switzerland 0-2 (sets 1-2, 1-3)
                  Finland/West - Finland/East 2-0 (sets 6-1, 12-3)

                  Day 4, Sunday, games / results
                  Australia - Germany 0-2 (sets 0-1, 2-7)
                  Finland - Switzerland 2-0 (sets 14-2, 9-4)
                  India - USA 4-9
                  Australia - Switzerland 2-0 (11-0, 19-4)
                  Finland - Germany 2-0 (13-1, 8-0)

                  Table
                  1. Finland
                  2. Germany
                  3. Australia
                  4. Switzerland
                  5. Estonia
                  6. USA
                  7. India

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pesisboy View Post
                    Pesäpallo regular season 2017 have started. Played games are recorded one steady camera and can be found page https://vimeo.com/superpesis

                    Pesäpallo rules in english.

                    Ready to help if any questions.
                    pesisboy, thanks for all the information you have posted here.
                    I noticed your posts a few weeks ago but had forgotten my password for BBF, finally reset it so I could express my appreciation.
                    I am still enjoying the pesapallo videos on YouTube, the nonstop action is refreshing!
                    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

                    Comment

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