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1952 Olympics

From BR Bullpen

Baseball was a demonstration sport at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland for a third time. The game played was actually a variant of the sport called pesäpallo or Finnish baseball.

The ceremonial first feed (pitch) was thrown at 6:00 PM on July 31 by the sport's creator Lauri Pihkala. The teams playing were the Finnish Baseball League team and the Worker's Athletic Federation team. The match had shortened schedule, lasting an hour due to time requirements. Also, for greater visibility against the green field, a white ball was used (pesäpallo is normally played on a sandy pitch). The Finnish Baseball League won the game 8-4.

Finnish Baseball League roster[edit]

  • Eino Kaakkolahti, feeder
  • Leo Hannula, 1st base
  • Viljo Niemi, infielder
  • Olli Hanski, 2nd base
  • Antti Elomaa, wicket-keeper
  • Pertti Ahonen, 3rd base
  • Eero Vuorio, extra 2nd base
  • Toivo Ilola, extra 3rd base
  • Taisto Lehto, outfielder
  • Viljo Kokkonen, substitute
  • Pertti Jaakkola, substitute
  • Eero Vilevaara, substitute

Worker's Athletic Federation roster[edit]

  • Aimo Paavola, feeder
  • Osmo Juntto, 1st base
  • Onni Sallinen, infielder
  • Jorma Harlin, 2nd base
  • Reino Hakkarainen, wicket-keeper
  • Veikko Auersalmi, 3rd base
  • Pauli Kilpiä, extra 2nd base
  • Paavo Reiju, extra 3rd base
  • Lasse Heikkilä, outfielder
  • Pauli Lahtinen, substitute
  • Pauli Vainio, substitute
  • Oiva Huuskonen, substitute

The referee was Esko Nenonen, the feed umpire was Erkki Salin, the 2nd base judge was Leo Kadenius, the 3rd base judge was Väinö Apponen, the boundary umpire was Reino Pesonen and the score-keeper was Jorma Tenho.

Exhibition Game[edit]

The Olympics organizing committee invited the an American team to play an exhibition game versus the champions of Finnish baseball. The United States national soccer team, which had been eliminated by Italy 8 to 0 in the qualification round, would form the squad. The players would be selected by the team's manager Walter Giesler. The American team played a scrimmage versus a Venezuelan team, winning 14 to 4. The United States-Finland game was played at the Helsinki Football Stadium before 4,000 fans. The Americans won a route 19-1, after scoring seven runs in the first inning. Charlie Colombo hit a home run that, according to United States Olympic Soccer Committee Chairman W.T. Hobson, Jr., went "over the top of the grandstand."

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