3 Sports Similar to Baseball You Had No Clue Actually Existed

While the origins of baseball are still hotly contested to this day, most can agree that references to games resembling America’s pastime date back to the 18th century. According to History.com, “its most direct ancestors appear to be two English games: rounders and cricket.”

In September 1845, a group of men founded the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club. One of the players, Alexander Joy Cartwright, developed a new set of rules that would establish the foundation for modern baseball.. The following year, the Knickerbockers played the first official game of baseball against a team of cricket players.. Cricket and baseball, however, are not the only sports played with a bat and ball. In fact, different variations of these sports have been played long before or shortly after baseball was invented. Here are three sports similar to baseball you had no clue actually existed.


Palant is a Polish version of baseball played using a wooden stick and a rubber ball. While there are some similarities between the two sports, some theories suggest that baseball was derived from palant.

The playing field is 60 x 25 meters and is divided into two zones — heaven, which includes home base, and hell, which contains the remaining three bases. A game is played between two teams, consisting of 7 to 15 players each, for two 20-minute periods.. Players from the batting team get to strike the ball just once, tossing it to themselves. If the ball enters hell, the batter may run. The batter is considered out if the ball doesn’t leave heaven, or if he is caught between bases. If the batter returns to heaven, the team scores a run.. After all players have batted, the two teams switch sides. The team with the most runs after 40 minutes earns the victory.


Vitilla evolved from stickball in the Dominican Republican in just the last 50 years. Unlike baseball, there is no second base. The bases run in a triangle rather than a diamond and are 50 feet apart.

Instead of a baseball bat, players swing a broomstick and try to hit a plastic bottle cap flicked in their direction from a pitcher standing 45 feet away. Joining the pitcher on the field, is a catcher and just two fielders.. Fifteen feet in front of home plate is considered foul territory and fielders are not allowed to use gloves. Runners cannot steal nor can they lead off.. Other than that, the rules are the same as baseball. Dominican kids play vitilla before and after they start playing baseball. It helps them develop their skills at a faster pace.


Pesapallo, often called Finnish baseball, was founded in Finland during the 1920s and has since spread to several European countries. It’s one of the most original variants of baseball and has become very competitive.

The game is played in two periods of four innings each. The team that scores the most runs after each period (two innings) wins that half of the contest. If both teams each win a period, a fifth inning is played to determine the winner.. The pitcher stands next to home base and tosses the ball in the air for the batter to strike. The batter gets three chances to hit the ball.. If a player makes contact and puts the ball in play on either the first or second pitch he may refrain from running and take another try. However, if he hits the ball foul or swings and misses on his third attempt, he’s out.. Once the ball is put into play, the batter runs the bases, which are in a zigzag pattern, trying to eventually reach third. If successful, the offensive team earns a run.. If the batter hits a home run — only inside the park home runs are allowed — he stops at third and scores a run. The batter then stays on third in order to score another run by touching home plate during the next hitter’s at bat.