Did you know the Finns have their own version of baseball? It’s called pesäpallo, and it’s Finland’s national sport. It all was started in 1910 by legendary Lauri “Tahko” Pihkala, who had been to the US and learned baseball.
Pihkala was fascinated by the sport, but he had some things he wanted to develop about it. He did not like the wide dimensions of the field and the difficult horizontal pitching. So in pesäpallo, the pitching is vertical and thus the batter has much more control of the power and the direction of the hit. This gives more variety to the offensive game. The playing field has a different narrow shape, 42 meters wide by 96 meters long. Read more about the differences of pesäpallo and baseball here.
Pesäpallo is a professional sport in Finland today, and the teams in the highest league Superpesis attract plenty of sponsors and invest a lot in developing their teams.
Finland celebrates 100 years of independence this year, so one of the many ways to celebrate the centennial was to start this year’s Superpesis season in Stockholm. So Saturday the 22nd April saw some of the leading Finnish teams fight it out at Zinkensdamm sport field. The artificial turf seemed to slow down the game (both for ball movement and running), but the audience looked like they thoroughly enjoyed watching top-level pesäpallo. Fans of the teams had travelled all the way from Finland, and the local Finnish community was out in force.
The women’s match was taken home by Manse PP from Tampere, who beat Pesäkarhut from Pori. The men’s winner was Kouvolan Pallonlyöjät, who took out Joensuun Maila.
Here are some of the best photos from the match day by YLC’s own Nina Uddin.