Sunday, September 25, 2005

How long have the Chinese played baseball?

The Chinese character 壘(루) means "fort" or "camp." Notice that it is composed of three fields arranged on top of a mound of "earth." The Chinese character for "field" is 田(전), and the character for "earth" or "land" is 土(토).

Now look carefully at the character:

Doesn't it look a lot like a baseball diamond? The field on top would be second base; the one to the right, first base; the one to the left, third base; and the mound of "earth" at the bottom would be home plate.

Koreans refer to "first base" as 일루(一壘), "second base" as 이루(二壘), "third base" as 삼루(三壘), and "home plate" as 본루(本壘).

Is this just coincidence? Or were the Chinese playing baseball a thousand years before Columbus discovered America? I wonder.

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