Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alaskan Baseball

Baseball Player, Shortstop, InfieldWhen someone mentions baseball, you think of a diamond with the bases, outfield, infield, pitchers, etc.  I've seen baseball on the tele when my father watched it and I've seen one game in person.  I saw the padres one time in Tucson , AZ when I was about 12 or 13.  It was cool and much more exciting in person than on the tele.

When I was out in the bush one time, I was invited to join in a game of baseball.  I said why not but couldn't figure out how they were going to manage it when the ground was covered in snow.  There was no patch of ground big enough to house a baseball diamond, not even the helicopter landing pad!

Basketball, Court, Ball, Game, Sport
Baseball, Pitcher, Ball, Throw, AthleteThe kids took me to the gym.  One team lined up at one end, while the other team was spread out over the court behind the center line.  The pitcher stood next to the batter and threw the ball straight up in front of the batter. 

The person at bat hit the ball, dropped the bat and ran across the court.  At the same time, anyone on the other side of the court might try to run home but didn't have to if they didn't want to.  If someone catches the ball and tags a person out, then the groups change sides unless the person hit by the ball is able to grab the ball and tag someone else. Then they would change sides again.

There was one time where the group up to bat changed 3 times in one go.  The kids had to tell me where I should stand.  Honestly, it is as confusing as it sounds. The kids called it Eskimo basketball which used a bat and a very soft ball.  I would just run when they told me to, stay put when told to and never actually got up to bat because the game ended before that point.

I think it developed when schools first came to Alaska and they had to adopt outdoor baseball to the confines of the basketball court in the gyms.  Although I have played it several times, I am still totally confused as to the rules and scoring.

If you ever get invited to play, go ahead because you will have lots of fun, laugh a lot and never get bored.

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