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English Crew Teaches Rounders to Baltic Islanders

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Pre-modern Rules
City/State/Country: Estonia
Game Xenoball
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult

"In 1846 a three-master . . . from London stranded on the island. . . . The captain spent the winter with the local minister, and the sailors with the peasants. According to information given by a man named Matts Bisa, the visitors taught the men of Runö a new batting game. As the cry "runders" shows, his game was the English rounders, a predecessor of baseball. It was made part of the old cult game."

This game was conserved on the island, at least until 1949.


Erwin Mehl, "A Batting Game on the Island of Runö," Western Folklore vol 8, number 3, (1949?), page 268. 


Ruhnu Island (formerly cited as "Runo") is a small island off the northern coast of Estonia.  Its current population about 100 souls.  It was formerly occupied by Swedes.

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